Former Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third consecutive year.
The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro selection joins 14 other former stars on the list of modern-era players. Seven of them are on the list for the first time, including two first-year eligible candidates in Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.
The Hall’s 48-member selection committee will rule on Hutchinson’s case Feb. 1 in Miami. Like all finalists, Hutchinson will need to survive cuts from 15 to 10, then 10 to five before needing 80 percent yes votes to make the Hall of Fame.
The other former players who are first-year finalists are Packers safety LeRoy Butler, Rams receiver Torry Holt, Saints and Panthers linebacker Sam Mills, Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas and 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young.
The other finalists and their number of years as a finalist are Buccaneers and Broncos safety John Lynch (seven), Steelers and Jets guard Alan Faneca (five), Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli (four), Rams receiver Isaac Bruce (four), Colts and Cardinals running back Edgerrin James (four), Broncos safety Steve Atwater (three) and Patriots and Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour (two).
A first-round pick in 2001, Hutchinson played for the Seahawks from 2001-05, the Vikings from 2006-11 and the Titans in 2012. He made the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 2000s while earning three of his first-team All-Pro honors as a Viking.
The logjam at offensive line was loosened some last year when Kevin Mawae was chosen. But this will be the third year that Hutchinson goes up against Boselli and Faneca in what has been a stalemate among selectors.
Polamalu is expected to be a first-ballot selection. That would leave four spots for the remaining 14.
The modern-era selections will join a group of 15 (10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches) that will be chosen by a separate blue-ribbon committee as part of the Hall’s centennial celebration.