Wow! The Vikings could be working their way back to dominant offensive line, one not seen in these parts since the 1998 season when Jeff Christy, Todd Steussie, and Randall McDaniel were named to the Pro Bowl. It is now being reported that the Vikings have signed Seahawks guard Steve Hutchinson to an offer sheet of mammoth proportions.
But before you start to scream and holler like a little girl at her first prom, keep this in mind: the Seahawks have a little thing called a transition tag on Hutchinson, giving them the right to match the Vikings offer. The ‘Hawks and the Triple Chin (Mike Holmgren) have a week to determine if they want to retain the services of the most highly sought offensive lineman on the market today. If they choose not to match, they receive no compensation.
Holy Red McCombs! I had concentrated on LeCharles Bentley as I thought the Vikes could not make a play for Hutchinson as the money would be too great. This move alone should signal that our new owner, Zygi Wilf, is going to spend the money necessary to bring a championship to Minnesota. I mean, think of this new look offensive line next season. If the Vikings can actually get Hutch in Purple, he'll land between Matt Birk and Bryant McKinnie. McKinnie came on like a ton of bricks last season and should have been voted into the Pro Bowl. Birk should be back at full strength following his 95th hernia operation.
The huge offer the Vikes laid on the table is most likely designed at discouraging the Seahawks from matching. Keep your fingers crossed!
From the numbers being reported, the Vikings have gotten his settlement on an offer sheet with a 2006 cap number in excess of $13 million. Using my trusty Texas Instruments calculator, that's more than one third of the team's existing cap space in the 2006 off-season, and more than twelve percent of the team's total cap room for the existing year.
In a related note, if the Vikes do win and Hutchinson is introduced the media as the newest Viking, look for the team to finally release the Poutin’ Quarterback the First to loosen up a little more bling-bling.