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Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Kevin Mawae, Tom Flores Seahawks’ Hall-of-Fame finalists

Former Seahawks All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson blocks against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC championship football game in Seattle on Jan. 22, 2006. Tuesday, the NFL announced Hutchinson is one of 15 modern-era finalists for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Former Seahawks All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson blocks against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC championship football game in Seattle on Jan. 22, 2006. Tuesday, the NFL announced Hutchinson is one of 15 modern-era finalists for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. AP

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 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 in January 2016 at CenturyLink Field. That indicated any hard feelings were buried.

Mawae was the Seahawks’ starting right guard in 1994 for Coach 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.

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 leading the Seahawks. Flores played quarterback for Pacific and was in that school’s class of 1958 (15 years before current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll graduated from Pacific).

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.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.

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