The Tennessee Titans signed free agent offensive guard Steve Hutchinson to a three-year deal on Thursday, according to John Clayton at ESPN. The move addresses an interior line that ranked as one of the Titan's most important needs of the offseason. The move may also have been done with the intention of luring another free agent, quarterback Peyton Manning, according to Clayton and other league insiders.
Manning and Hutchinson are said to have a close relationship. Adam Schefter described the connection and the potential link to the Titans on Tuesday as the NFL free agent period opened.
Better protection was essential for the Titans no matter who plays quarterback in 2012. Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, turns 35 in November, and his age brings questions about his effectiveness in the later stages of his career.