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Steve Hutchinson, Kevin Mawae await Hall of Fame fate

Four players with Seahawks ties are among the finalists to be named to the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class Saturday before the Super Bowl

Sporting News Archive Photo by Jed Kirschbaum/Sporting News via Getty Images

In 2017, Kenny Easley became the fourth career Seattle Seahawk inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Steve Largent, Walter Jones and Cortez Kennedy. Five other Hall of Famers played on Seattle late in their careers, including Franco Harris, Carl Eller, Warren Moon, John Randle and Jerry Rice—so aren’t typically considered enshrined as Seahawks.

For two offensive linemen with a chance to join the 2018 class, the case is a little murkier.

Center Kevin Mawae and guard Steve Hutchinson both began their careers in Seattle and spent parts of their primes here. However, Mawae made six of his eight career Pro Bowl appearances as a member of the New York Jets, and two of his three All-Pro selections. Plus those other nominations came after Mawae played for the Tennessee Titans at the tail end of his 16-year NFL resume. Mawae’s most honored years clearly came after he moved on from the Seahawks. Hutchinson did make three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams with Seattle while playing his first five years under Mike Holmgren, and was even part of the legendary 2005 offensive line that led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, Hutchinson left on bad terms with the organization after negotiating a so-called “poison pill” contract with the Minnesota Vikings the offseason after that title game loss. Seattle had an opportunity to match the deal, but it would have forced guarantees into Hutchinson’s contract the front office at the time was unwilling to pay. Many fans blame the departure for accelerating the closing of those Seahawks’ championship opportunity. Time has reconciled some of those feelings, naturally, and Hutchinson has been back to raise the 12th Man flag twice before Seattle games in recent years. Still, the breakup put most of Hutchinson’s 12-year career on the other side of his Seahawks days, and like Mawae most of his honorariums came after leaving Seattle including a stretch of three straight All-Pros as a Viking from 2007 to 2009. Hutchinson also played one year in Tennessee.

Since NFL players’ busts don’t include a helmet comparable to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s caps, players don’t officially enter “as” a member of one team or another, so these questions are a little bit irrelevant. Either way, both former Seahawks will be awaiting to hear their name Saturday when the Hall of Fame makes its selections official. It’s Hutchinson’s first year eligible, so he likely has many more opportunities for consideration by the panel of voters. For Mawae, it’s his fourth year of eligibility and his second appearance among the finalists.

Two other players in the group of finalists have slight Seattle ties: Edgerrin James rushed for 125 yards as a Seahawk in his final season in 2009 after spending most of his career on the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, and Terrell Owens tried out for the 2012 team but never ended up on the professional roster, following a 15-year career split among five teams.

The rest of finalists includes Bobby Beathard, Tony Boselli, Robert Brazile, Isaac Bruce, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Joe Jacoby, Jerry Kramer, Ty Law, Ray Lewis, John Lynch, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher and Everson Walls.

Do any of the former Seahawks have a chance to make it into the Hall of Fame among this class of all-time greats?