Offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae, both of whom played substantial portions of their NFL careers with the Seahawks, came up short in voting for entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. An eight-member class was announced during the NFL Honors program in Minneapolis, site of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Hutchinson was in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility.
Five recent players were voted in Saturday and will be inducted Aug. 4, including WRs Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, LBs Ray Lewis and Brian Ulracher and S Brian Dawkins. Two senior players, Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile, were voted in, as was former executive Bobby Beathard.
The Seahawks selected Mawae in the second round (36th overall) of the 1994 draft out of Louisiana State. He played four seasons in Seattle, appearing in 62 games with 59 starts, after which he signed with the New York Jets as an unrestricted free agent. Mawae made eight Pro Bowl teams with the Jets and Tennessee Titans after departing Seattle. Mawae was a Hall of Fame finalist in 2017.
The Seahawks drafted Hutchinson 17th in the first round in 2001 out of Michigan. He represented Seattle in three Pro Bowls through 2005, its first Super Bowl year, before signing a “poison pill” free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006.
The Seahawks used the transition tag to try to keep Hutchinson, but he could receive offers from other teams. The Vikings included a provision that Hutchinson’s year-to-year salaries would be guaranteed if he was not the highest-paid offensive lineman on his team. The Seahawks could not realistically match the deal, given they had just signed future Hall of Famer Walter Jones to an extension that was more than the Vikings’ offer to Hutchinson.
Hutchinson went on to make four more Pro Bowls in a career that ran through 2012. With Seattle, Hutchinson appeared in 68 games, all starts.
Four players who spent nearly all of their careers with the Seahawks are enshrined in the hall. WR Steve Largent was the first in 1995. He was followed by DT Cortez Kennedy (2012), OT Walter Jones (2014) and S Kenny Easley (2017).
Two players who caused major headaches for the Seahawks in 2017 were big winners at the NFL Honors program Saturday. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year while teammate Aaron Donald won the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Their coach, John McVay, was named coach of the year.