Steve Hutchinson blocking B. J. Raji on November 14, 2011.
Hutchinson, then signed a controversial offer sheet from the Vikings, for $49 million over seven years, believed to be the richest contract ever offered a guard at the time. The offer sheet, though, contained a poison pill provision that would have guaranteed his entire salary if he was not the highest-paid lineman on the team.
NFL rules require that when a team uses its transition tag on a player, they must either exactly match a competing offer sheet or relinquish their rights to that player. While the tag is unlikely to be triggered during his time with the Vikings (which means he is unlikely to see the entire $49 million), the Seahawks had recently given tackle Walter Jones a contract richer than the one offered to Hutchinson. Thus, they would have triggered the "poison pill" clause immediately, and would have been forced, by NFL rules, to guarantee Hutchinson's entire salary. Since doing so would have destroyed their salary cap, they could not match the offer. Moreover, since they only used their transition tag, rather than naming Hutchinson a franchise player, they received no compensation from Minnesota for their loss. Seattle retaliated, though, by signing Minnesota wide receiver Nate Burleson to an offer sheet containing a similar ploy. Because of this controversy, the NFL banned the use of "poison pills". Hutchinson played 48 straight games while with the Vikings, not missing one start.
On December 21, 2010 Hutchinson was put on injured reserve by the Vikings. Hutchinson also ended the 2011 NFL Season on injured reserve. During the first 11-years of his NFL career, Hutchinson had started in all 157 games that he had played in. However, the Minnesota Vikings announced that they had released Hutchinson on March 10, 2012. On March 14, 2012, Steve Hutchinson met with the Seattle Seahawks, to work out a possible deal with his former team.
Hutchinson married his high school sweetheart Landyn. The couple have a daughter, Lily, and a son, Luke. He keeps a vacation home in Key Largo, Florida. He is an avid hunter and fisherman. Hutchinson finds himself at home on many of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. His family became close with Vikings legend John Randle's family in Seattle and remain good friends.