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Steve Hutchinson inks 3-year deal with Titans, who still hope for Manning

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Hutchinson could join in the recruiting pitch made to Manning. (US Presswire)
A few days ago, guard Steve Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowler who's 34 years old, got caught up in a salary dump with the Vikings as they shed about $14 million off their cap by releasing Hutchinson and two other players.

It didn't take too long for Hutchinson to find new work, though, as the Titans have signed him to a three-year contract (via the Tennessean) reportedly for $16 million.

Now, you have to wonder if the entire reason Tennessee signed him (or, much of the reason, anyway) was to continue making its push to entice Peyton Manning to accept Bud Adams' offer for a lifetime contract.

Hutchinson will probably take the place of free agent Jake Scott, so, assuming Hutchinson can stay healthy -- an iffy proposition the past couple seasons -- he's already an instant upgrade.

Hutchinson started 131-straight games in his career, but he's ended the past two seasons on the IR list. That didn't stop the Titans or the Seahawks, where Hutchinson started his career before leaving for Minnesota, for recruiting him since free agency began. After all, he's been durable and a constant presence on the All-Pro team during his 11-year career.

Obviously, the Titans gave him a better offer -- which is a smart for them as they go after the biggest free agent target since Reggie White.

Plus, the newspaper also reports that the Titans played host today to Texans center Chris Myers, one of the best in the game, and on Wednesday, they brought in Packers center Scott Wells to look around. If Tennessee can land either of them, the offensive line will have drastically improved.

And maybe that will give the Titans a better chance to land Manning after all.

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