The Pro Football Hall of Fame has whittled its list of potential inductees for 2019 from a list of 25 down to 15, and the only player on the list with any real ties to the Minnesota Vikings has survived the cutdown.
For the second season in a row, former Vikings’ guard Steve Hutchinson has made the final list of 15 players that could see enshrinement in Canton next August. He made the list last year, his first season of eligibility, but ultimately did not make the cut to make it into the Hall.
Hutchinson played for the Vikings from 2006 to 2011, and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro (along with one second-team nod) and a four-time Pro Bowler during his time in purple.
Here is the complete list of “modern era” nominees:
- Steve Atwater, safety – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
- Champ Bailey, cornerback – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos
- Tony Boselli, tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Isaac Bruce, wide receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
- Don Coryell, coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
- Alan Faneca, guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
- Tom Flores, coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks
- Tony Gonzalez, tight end – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons
- Steve Hutchinson, guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
- Edgerrin James, running back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals,2009 Seattle Seahawks
- Ty Law, cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
- John Lynch, free safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Kevin Mawae, center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
- Ed Reed, safety – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 Houston Texans, 2013 New York Jets
- Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
The Selection Committee will convene in Atlanta on 2 February, right before the Super Bowl, and they can elect no more than five of the modern day nominees. Things might get a little tight, as the three players in their first year of eligibility (Bailey, Gonzalez, and Reed) all seem to be considered locks to get in, leaving just two spots for the other 12 men in the field.
As you can see from the list, Hutchinson faces some pretty solid competition from a couple of other offensive linemen, both of whom have been eligible for longer than him. He’s against both Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae, and Hutchinson compares favorably to both of them according to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Faneca is in his fourth year of eligibility and has one more first-team All-Pro honor (six) and two more Pro Bowls (nine). Mawae is in his fifth year of eligibility and has one fewer first-team All-Pro honor (three) and one more Pro Bowl (eight).
I’m not sure if Hutchinson is going to make it in this time around. He should make it in at some point, but with 60% of the class likely already decided, it’s going to be a fight for him. Still, it would be nice to see him going into Canton next August, wouldn’t it?