A year after Kenny Easley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, three more former Seahawks stars have become finalists for induction in 2018.
The NFL and Hall of Fame announced Tuesday evening that Steve Hutchinson, Kevin Mawae and Edgerrin James are among the 15 modern-era finalists for enshrinement this summer in Canton, Ohio.
The selection committee will meet Feb. 3 in Minneapolis the day before Super Bowl 52 there to determine the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
Hutchinson is in his first year of Hall-of-Fame eligibility.
He made the first three of his seven Pro Bowl teams had the first two of five All-Pro selections while as Seattle’s left guard from 2001-05 for coach Mike Holmgren, and what in ‘05 became the first Seahawks team to play in the Super Bowl. Hutchinson started next to Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones and Pro Bowl center Robbie Tobeck on the best line Seattle’s ever had.
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 40 that ended it with Seattle’s loss to Pittsburgh in Detroit. 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 ‘06 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 last January at CenturyLink Field, indicating any hard feelings were buried.
Mawae was the Seahawks’ starting right guard in 1994 for coach Tom Flores as a rookie second-round pick, and in ‘95 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 ‘96 and ‘97 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, 2,895 yards and 16 more rushing touchdowns with the Arizona Cardinals. James’ final 125 yards of his 12,246 came while with Seattle in the last season before Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in 2010 to remake 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 a Super Bowl for Arizona, at the end of the 2008 season.
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), 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.
The NFL and Hall of Fame will announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl.