Minnesota Vikings  

 

Hutchinson faces possible release as Vikings turn to youth

  • By Associated Press
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings are planning to get younger during the offseason in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the NFC North. And some of their most experienced starters have contracts and ages that make them candidates for a pay cut -- or for simply being cut altogether.

One of them is five-time first-team All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson, who is scheduled to make $6.95 million in 2012, the final installment of a seven-year deal worth as much as $49 million. He is well aware of the way his salary sticks out.

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"I know what the cap situation is and all that, but it's out of my control," said Hutchinson, who recently turned 35.

Hutchinson said he wouldn't be surprised if the team asks him to redo his contract to stay this season. He also acknowledged he has considered the possibility of being let go before the new league year begins and free agency opens next month.

"Any player has to worry about that in the NFL," Hutchinson said during a phone interview Monday.

Hutchinson, the mainstay of the offensive line who started 131 consecutive games, including the playoffs, until a broken right thumb sidelined him at the end of 2010, has the most complicated and highest-profile case. His most recent of seven Pro Bowl selections came two seasons ago, and his durability and dominant blocking isn't what it once was. But the Vikings would surely miss him if he goes.

General manager Rick Spielman said last week "sometimes you just have to make some tough business decisions" regarding players on the roster with high salaries, but said he hadn't yet contacted the agents for anyone the Vikings would like to renegotiate with or release.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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