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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Steve Hutchinson to retire

ESPN.com news services

Tennessee Titans guard Steve Hutchinson confirmed Tuesday that he will retire after 12 seasons in the NFL.

"Retiring today after a great run in the NFL. Want to thank the @Seahawks, @Vikings, @TennesseeTitans and their fans for the opportunity," he posted on his Twitter account Tuesday morning.

Hutchinson, 35, was considered one of the pre-eminent offensive linemen in the NFL over his career that featured stops with the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and finally the Titans.

The guard was in the process of recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee before deciding to call it a career.

Hutchinson was drafted by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2001 draft. He flourished in Seattle, and the Vikings pried him away when he signed the richest contract then ever offered for an offensive guard (seven years, $49 million). Minnesota, however, released the five-time first-team All-Pro pick last year, allowing the Titans to add him to a rebuilding offensive line.

Hutchinson was due to count $6.75 million against the Titans' salary cap, including $5.25 million in 2013 pay. He will leave behind a $3 million dead-money cap hit, so the Titans will save $3.75 million in cap dollars.

"Hutch, obviously, had a great career in this league," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "Over the past decade, he was the best guard in the league, in my opinion. I've always enjoyed watching him on tape, how he dominated guys. It was great getting a chance to work with him this year and to know him a player and a person. I wish him and his family the best in retirement."

Factoring in that savings and a $2.023 million second-round tender for restricted free-agent center Fernando Velasco, the Titans stand roughly $18.323 million under the salary cap.

Hutchinson was due a $500,000 roster bonus later this week.

ESPN.com AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.