Steve Hutchinson to Titans: Is This a Precursor to Peyton Manning Deal?

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMarch 15, 2012

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN- CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Steve Hutchinson of the Minnesota Vikings poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans swooped in out of nowhere and agreed to a three-year deal with five-time first-team All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson. The 11-year veteran was visiting the Seattle Seahawks when he agreed to the deal. 

Hutchinson isn't the player he once was, as his last of seven Pro Bowl selections came two years ago, but his signing could make Tennessee's entire offensive line better. Hutchinson's leadership and knowledge will go a long way to boosting what the rest of the roster can do. 

Such an addition by the Titans may be a move to sweeten things up for free agent Peyton Manning. By landing Hutchinson, they could be sending a message to the injured (and recovering) quarterback that they will do whatever it takes to protect him.

In the short-term, the 34-year-old Hutchinson will help upgrade a Titans offensive line that needed help on the interior. He is certainly an upgrade over Jake Scott and Leroy Harris at guard.

More importantly, Hutchinson is represented by Tom Condon, who also happens to be Manning's agent. 

While the Titans move to make Manning a deal that could include a post-retirement front office position, the addition of a solid offensive lineman won't hurt things. 

Tennessee got involved in the Manning chase late, but owner Bud Adams appears hell-bent on bringing the former University of Tennessee star to town. Bringing in a guy like Hutchinson to pair with three-time All-Pro left tackle Michael Roos along the offensive line can only help the team's chances.