Seattle Seahawks offensive guard Steve Hutchinson blocks against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC Championship Game in Seattle on Jan. 22, 2006. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)

Seattle Seahawks offensive guard Steve Hutchinson blocks against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC Championship Game in Seattle on Jan. 22, 2006. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)

Former Seahawk Hutchinson among Pro Football HOF finalists

Hutchinson and 4 of the other 15 nominees have ties to the Seahawks or Seattle area.

By Gregg Bell / The News Tribune

RENTON — Former Seahawks All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson, center Kevin Mawae, coach Tom Flores and running back Edgerrin James are among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2019.

The NFL announced the pairing from 25 modern-era semifinalists on Thursday.

The selection committee will meet Feb. 2 in Atlanta. The league will announce the incoming class, expected to be about four or five enshrined this year, that night on the eve of Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.

Hutchinson, Mawae and James were finalists last January, too.

Don Coryell, the former San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals coach from 1973-86 known for his high-flying passing offenses, also was a finalist. Coryell was born in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. He died in 2010.

Hutchinson is in his second year of eligibility for the Hall. He made the first three of his seven Pro Bowl teams and had the first two of five All-Pro selections as Seattle’s left guard from 2001-05 for coach Mike Holmgren. In 2005, Hutchinson started next to Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones and Pro Bowl center Robbie Tobeck on arguably the best line Seattle’s ever had, which helped pave the way for the team’s first Super Bowl appearance.

Hutchinson was the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2001. He started from the first game of his rookie season through his departure following the 2005 season and Super Bowl XL. Hutchinson left when his agent, Tom Condon, included a controversial “poison-pill” clause in a contract offer from Minnesota that Seattle could not match. Hutchinson signed with the Vikings before the 2006 season. He retired following the 2012 season, his only one with the Tennessee Titans.

Hutchinson returned to Seattle to raise the team’s “12th Man” flag immediately before kickoff of the Seahawks’ playoff win over Detroit in January 2016 at CenturyLink Field. That indicated any hard feelings were buried.

Mawae was the Seahawks’ starting right guard in 1994 for Flores as a rookie second-round pick, and in 1995 for Dennis Erickson. Erickson moved Mawae to center before the 1996 season. He started the next nine seasons at that position without missing a game, in 1996 and 1997 for Seattle and then with the New York Jets into the 2005 season. He became a three-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl center. He retired following the 2009 season, his fourth with the Titans.

Mawae worked last spring teaching Seahawks rookie offensive lineman Ethan Pocic offensive-line drills before Seattle drafted Pocic, like Mawae in the second round. Pocic became the Seahawks’ starting right guard in the middle of the 2017 season. Mawae played guard, tackle and center at LSU in the early 1990s — just as Pocic did at LSU through 2016.

James signed with the Seahawks in 2009, after seven years, 9,224 yards and 64 touchdowns rushing for the Indianapolis Colts, and 2,895 yards and 16 more rushing TDs with the Arizona Cardinals. James’ final 125 yards of his 12,246 came with Seattle in 2009, the final season before Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived to rebuild the franchise.

James was the 1999 NFL offensive rookie of the year, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and one time an All-Pro with the Colts. He played in Super Bowl XLIII for Arizona.

Flores, 81, won two Super Bowls as a head coach and another as an assistant with the Raiders in the 1970s and ’80s. Flores became the Seahawks’ president and general manager in 1989. In 1992 he returned to coaching with Seattle and went 14-34 in three seasons. Flores played quarterback for Pacific University, graduating in 1958 — 15 years before current Seahawks coach Carroll graduated from the same school.

The Seahawks, who began play in 1976, have nine players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spent at least a part of their careers with Seattle: Steve Largent (1976-89), Jones (1997-2000), the late Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000), Kenny Easley (1981-87), John Randle (2001-03), Warren Moon (1997-98), Jerry Rice (2004), Franco Harris (1984) and Carl Eller (1979).

Former coach, president and general manager Mike McCormack (1982-88) was inducted in 1984.

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