Hutchinson, a former All-Pro, was released by the Vikings earlier this week heading into the final year of the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed with Minnesota. Hutchinson played his college ball at the University of Michigan and was the seventeenth overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Seahawks, where I was hoping he'd fall to the Titans (thankfully, Keith Bulluck proved to a nice alternative).
Hutchinson was last named first-team All-Pro following the 2009 season, and ended both of the last two seasons on injured reserve, which was part of the reason both Andrew and I wrote we weren't that interested on him. He's 34, turning 35 at the beginning of November, which makes him the oldest lineman on the Titans. Either the talk about "getting younger on the offensive line" was blowing smoke, or expect at least one more acquisition this offseason. Vikings guy Tom Pelissero gave Hutchinson a "C" for his 2011 play, but noted he was best working combo block with the center in the zone running game, which is not an area the Titans have excelled at lately.
I haven't seen any official word about what position Hutchinson play with the Titans. He has played left guard his entire NFL career, and was also a left guard at Michigan. Incumbent starting left guard Leroy Harris is in the final year of his contract at a salary of $2.7 million, and I'm not sure he's ever taken a snap at right guard. Right now, I'd guess Hutchinson is your starting left guard and Harris is 50-50 to be on the roster at the start of the regular season.
In my view, this is an awesome signing. Hutchinson is a massive upgrade over Scott and Harris. Sure his play has slipped a little in recent years, but there is no doubt that his skill level is far superior to either of the Titans starting guards that were on the roster at the end of last season. And they got him for a little more than 5 million a year, which allow them to still add another quality player to the O-line, either in free agnecy or in the first three rounds of the draft.