Starting guard Robert Gallery was cut by the Seahawks Wednesday, opening the way for the return of former All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson, a star of the Seahawks’ 2006 Super Bowl team who toured the Renton facilities yesterday as a free agent.
No deal was announced Wednesday, although the Seahawks did re-sign free agent Paul McQuistan, who started 10 games last year, including three at left guard, three at right guard and four at left tackle.
Gallery, 31, had a hard time staying healthy last season, his first in Seattle after seven seasons in Oakland. Brought to Seattle on the recommendation of his coach in Oakland, Tom Cable, who became the Seahawks assistant head coach, Gallery missed the opener with a sprained right knee, then returned but lost three more games to surgery that repaired an injured groin.
Gallery was schedule to make $5.1 million in 2012, but none was guaranteed.
Hutchinson, 34, is an 11-year veteran and a seven-time Bowler, including three in Seattle, which drafted him in the first round from Michigan in 2001. Hutchinson and tackle Walter Jones made the most powerful line tandem in franchise history.
Hutchinson left after the Super Bowl for Minnesota, which made him a controversial offer as a restricted free agent that the Seahawks declined to match, citing a “poison pill” contract element. His departure infuriated then coach Mike Holmgren and began a series of personnel events that resulted in the ouster of GM Tim Ruskell two years ago.
Hutchinson missed time last season due to a concussion and a thumb injury.
In other free agent developments, defensive tackle Jason Jones, from Tennessee, is scheduled for a visit Thursday to Seahawks headquarters, and free agent quarterback Chad Henne, who was scheduled for a visit, signed with Jacksonville.