Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/3/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Guard Steve Hutchinson said he, "saw the writing on the wall" as the Minnesota Vikings entered last offseason looking to get younger and that he wasnt surprised by his release a few days before free agency started in March.Hutchinson, the 12-year veteran who spent six years with the Vikings, ended up signing a three-year, 16 million contract with the Tennessee Titans, who come to Minnesota this weekend."I didn't have an option, so I got a call and they told me the decision they were going," Hutchinson said Wednesday on a conference call with Minnesota media. "I wasn't completely blindsided. Just knowing the direction that the team was going; they were trying to get younger. I kind of saw the writing on the wall, so to speak. It was a fun run. It was a good six years. But, it's a business, too, and they've got to do what they've got to do."Hutchinson, 34, was a part of a purge of several veteran players in the offseason, following a six-year run with the Vikings in which he was named a Pro Bowler four times and an All-Pro three times. The Vikings signed him to a lucrative seven-year, 49 million deal in 2006, which included wording designed to make it nearly impossible for the Seattle Seahawks, who had chosen Hutchinson with the 17th pick in the 2001 draft, to match. The infamous "poison pill" contract offered by Minnesota caused some outrage throughout the league and led to a retaliation of sorts by Seattle years later with receiver Nate Burleson.Hutchinson said it would feel strange walking into the Metrodome on the other side, but its not the first time hes felt such a feeling."I was just kind of thinking how weird it is to go back," Hutchinson said. "I remember when I went back to Seattle in 2006 and basically playing against all the guys youve been in the locker room with for however many years. Yeah, Ive been over there. I kind of remember a little bit about what that visiting locker room looks like, so I wont be completely lost."Hutchinsons release came with him due 6.95 million in the final year of his contract with the Vikings. He said he had thought about retirement if he would have played out the rest of his contract, which would have put him at 12 years. But after being cut, he wanted to continue on and reach the 12-year mark."That sounded like a good number to me, a dozen years," Hutchinson said. "So, I dont know if I felt comfortable hanging it up after 11. You get that number in your head. I dont know what this contract will take me to realistically, but three-year deal, I dont know if all three years will come into play. But it wasnt much of a hard choice to figure out if I wanted to keep playing because I just wanted to honor that 12-year mark I had in my head, at least."Hutchinson said the toughest part was making a move with his kids and he still maintains a residence in the Twin Cities. He said he has "no complaints" physically and isnt surprised by the success Minnesota has had this season."No, Im not surprised with all," Hutchinson said. "I know the character of the guys in that locker room, the leaders they have on the team. I dont think there was a doubt that Christian was going to be a great player for that team. I think last year with the new offensive system and the lockout and the no offseason and asking a rookie to come in and grasp every aspect of the game at the quarterback position at the NFL level was hard to do. I knew once he settled in, hed be good. So, theyre doing well. Theyre looking good, and Im sure the fans are happy and they deserve that."Locker ruled out Sunday: Tennessees second-year starting quarterback Jake Locker was officially ruled out for Sundays game with a separated left, non-throwing shoulder. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck, in his 14th NFL season, will start Sunday for the Titans.Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said he would give Locker a couple of days to see if the soreness would allow him to play Sunday when he talked with Minnesota media during a conference call, but he must have had a change of heart with his young quarterback, declaring Locker out to Titans media later in the afternoon Wednesday.Locker suffered a dislocated left shoulder for the second time this season in last weeks 38-14 loss to the Houston Texans, when he was sacked by cornerback Glover Quinn. It was a reoccurrence of the injury he sustained while making a tackle in the season opener. Locker returned to play in Week 2 after the first injury, but reports have speculated this time he might be forced to miss several weeks. An MRI showed no structural damage, and Munchak said he isnt ruling Locker out past this week. Allen, Jenkins miss practice: Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was held out of Wednesdays practice with a groin injury, as was wide receiver Michael Jenkins with the rib contusion he sustained in last Sundays game.Coach Leslie Frazier said hes hopeful neither player will have to miss Sundays game. Safety Andrew Sendejo missed Wednesdays practice with a lingering ankle injury, as did safety Mistral Raymond, who is out two to four more weeks. Frazier said Sendejo could miss Sundays game.Linebacker Erin Henderson was cleared to participate in part of practice as he tries to return from a concussion."Theyve cleared him to the point where he can go through parts of our practice and then theyll evaluate again tomorrow after hes done some of the things hell do today," Frazier said, later adding: "Not certain as to why its taken this much time. As you know, youre going to err on the side of caution when it comes to a head injury. So, thats what were doing. Thats what our doctors are doing."Henderson complained of the concussion symptoms two days after Minnesotas Week 2 loss at Indianapolis, a game in which he had to leave for a few plays because of an injury. Frazier said hes hopeful Henderson will be back in time to play Sunday but wasnt making any promises."I was hoping the same thing a week ago," Frazier said. "So, hoping that hell be able to practice tomorrow, theyll clear him and say, 'Hey, you can do everything.' The fact that its to the point where he can participate some today, thats a good sign."Quarterback Christian Ponder was listed on the injury report with a knee injury and practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Frazier didnt meet with the media following practice. Guard Charlie Johnson (low back), cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee) and cornerbackreturner Marcus Sherels (quadriceps) were also limited during Wednesdays practice.Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Fitzpatrick could sign for less elsewhere out of spite

Report: David Blatt to return to Europe, coach team in Turkey

Steve Kerr on Steph Curry: 'He looks like he’s 12'

Kevin Durant says he has not thought about free agency yet

Report: Ken Hitchcock to return as head coach of the Blues


NHL players in the Olympics may hinge on who picks up cost

Biyombo willing to take discount to stay in Toronto

Report: Baylor AD Ian McCaw will resign

Dolphins DE Dion Jordan applies for NFL reinstatement

Bills OT ready to rejoin team after mysterious absence

David Wright dealing with herniated disc in neck

Johnny Manziel is ‘hashing it out’ with rental car owner

2016's MLB All-Surprise Team after two months

Browner on Saints: I 'took that few millions' and ran with it

Bernie Sanders hopes to emulate Warriors’ comeback

Aaron Rodgers wants to produce documentaries after NFL career

Top eight storylines for the 2016 NBA Finals

Draymond Green, Steven Adams get tangled up

NFL stars who could retire after the 2016 season

Steven Wright throws impossible knuckleball for strikeout

WATCH: David Villa slipped on embarrassing PK miss

WATCH: Michigan State creates enormous rally cap

Defense could play a huge role in who wins the Stanley Cup

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Defense could play a huge role in who wins the Stanley Cup

Speedy pace of the Penguins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker