The recent headline news involving the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings concerned wide receiver Percy Harvin being traded from Minnesota to Seattle for draft picks. However, almost seven years ago to the day, the Seahawks and Vikings were involved an a more bitter dispute concerning left guard Steve Hutchinson that involved the infamous “poison pill.”
The story goes that Hutchinson was promised by then-Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell that he was a “priority” to resign the previous off-season. Based on his actions, he lied (if the story is true). Hutchinson didn’t forget. When the time came to get what was coming to him financially, Hutchinson was going to get what he could and where he could get it.
The Vikings knew the Seahawks would match almost any offer anyone else presented to Hutchinson and refused to play the fool. They were either going to make sure he became a Viking via the pill or they weren’t going to deal with it. If Hutchinson refused it, they weren’t going to offer the contract and he knew full well that the Seahawks hadn’t been willing to give him what the Vikings were offering. It was either sign the contract and get his or be loyal (of which he felt Seattle hadn’t been to him) and accept what he knew the Seahawks hadn’t been willing to offer.
He chose what most Americans would choose, based on respect the money showed him, and became a member of the Vikings.
Fast forward through the years and the Seahawks and Vikings are still looking for Super Bowl wins. While the loss of Hutchinson definitely hurt the Seahawks, it didn’t propel the Vikings to a Super Bowl appearance either, although he played at a high level for many years in Minnesota.
The Seahawks are hoping James Carpenter can finally fill the void at left guard that Hutchinson left behind and that Harvin can be a playmaker that can help them win a Super Bowl. They are also hoping that former Vikings Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice will play a big part to help them get there.
The Vikings are hoping that the draft picks acquired in the Harvin trade will turn out to aid the franchise in its quest to become a champion, too. In addition, they are hoping that free agent acquisition last year, John Carlson, a 2008 second-round draft pick of the Seahawks, can help them in that quest.
Although Hutchinson is about to announce his retirement from the NFL as a member of the Tennessee Titans, he will be remembered for his Pro Bowl seasons as a member of the Seahawks and Vikings, in addition to the the “poison pill” that made it happen.