Adrian Peterson doesn’t know much about “poison pills” in contracts.
All the Vikings superstar running back knows is that six-time Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson is clearing holes for him, and that Hutchinson isn’t doing anything for anybody anymore in Seattle.
“If you could see me, I’m doing a dance right now, because we got him and you all don’t,” the NFC’s rushing leader said Wednesday, laughing through the telephone from Eden Prairie, Minn., before his and Hutchinson’s Vikings host the Seahawks on Sunday.
“It’s still funny to me how (the Seahawks) let this guy go,” Peterson said.
“He’s a beast.”
It’s been 3 1/2 years since the Vikings outfoxed the Seahawks with disputed “poison pill” provisions in a contract offer to Hutchinson that Seattle was unable to match. The Seahawks took wide receiver Nate Burleson away from Minnesota with the same tricks a week later.
The net results: Minnesota won, Seattle mostly lost – and the NFL still has contractual loopholes ripe for exploitation.
When asked about Seattle at Vikings headquarters, Hutchinson just shook his head.
“I’ve been here just as long as I was there,” he said. Hutchinson is in his fourth season with the Vikings, after five with the Seahawks.
Hutchinson has become one of the most decorated and rich guards of his generation. His Vikings are 8-1, with Peterson romping and Brett Favre throwing like he’s half his 40 years of age.
The Seahawks are 3-6, on their way out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season. They are starting their sixth left guard since Hutchinson bolted. Their offense led the league in scoring in Hutchinson’s final season, the 2005 Super Bowl one. It has been 14th, ninth, 25th and 19th in scoring in the seasons without him.
Burleson’s promising Seattle tenure has been sidetracked by knee reconstruction.
“He comes to work every day,” Minnesota coach Brad Childress said of Hutchinson. “He grinds. Just what you want offensive linemen to be.”
The Seahawks made Hutchinson, their 2001 first-round draft choice, their transition player for 2006, due for a mandated one-year contract but free to negotiate with others.
A miffed Hutchinson signed Minnesota’s free-agent offer sheet worth $49 million over seven years, with a $16 million signing bonus.
Seattle had the right to match, but Minnesota and Hutchinson’s agent, Tom Condon, created unprecedented clauses stipulating the entire contract would become guaranteed if Hutchinson was not the highest-paid lineman on his team. Seattle would have had to give him a deal at least equal to left tackle Walter Jones’ average annual salary of $7.5 million – unheard of for a guard – or guarantee all $49 million, unheard of for anybody.
Trufant, Wilson have concussions
The Seahawks’ two starting cornerbacks have been diagnosed with concussions.
Marcus Trufant and Josh Wilson didn’t practice Wednesday, and Seahawks coach Jim Mora didn’t specifically address their playing status for Sunday’s road game against quarterback Favre and the Vikings.
Trufant, from Washington State University and a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, was injured against Arizona last weekend. He returned to the game.
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