Steve Hutchinson informed the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday that he planned to retire after 12 seasons, the last of which was cut short by a knee injury.
Hutchinson was considered a key free agent acquisition last offseason but ended the year on injured reserve. Tennessee was his third team in a career that included five All-Pro honors and seven Pro-Bowl selections — all between 2003 and 2009.
“Hutch obviously had a great career in this league,” coach Mike Munchak said in a statement from the team. “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 as a player and a person. I wish him and his family the best in retirement.”
Hutchinson’s departure increases the offensive line needs for a team that already considered that area an offseason priority.
Hutchinson was the starting left guard last season. Right guard Leroy Harris became a free agent Tuesday afternoon when the new league year commenced. Three other projected starters, tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart and center Eugene Amano are all at least eight-year veterans. Stewart ended the 2012 season on injured reserve and Amano missed the entire season with an arm injury.
“Hutch has been a great player and I am happy for him that he can walk away from the game under his own terms,” general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement.