Steve Hutchinson was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in 2007 and is considered by many to be the best guard in the National Football League. The Vikings have absolutely no need to look for help at left guard after signing Hutchinson to a seven-year, $49 million deal in 2006 that took the league by storm at the time and has been a standard-bearing contract for talented guards since. To add to his resume of stonewalling defensive linemen is a track record of durability. Hutchinson hasn't missed a start since 2002, his second year in the league when he suffered a broken leg as a member of the Seattle Seahawks while playing against the Vikings on a nationally televised game.
On the right side, the Vikings eventually ceded the starting job to Anthony Herrera, who proved himself over the second half of the 2007 season and was rewarded with a five-year extension that could be worth as much as $15 million. They also have some depth options behind Hutchinson and Herrera.
But if the Vikings decide they have a need to pursue depth at guard in free agency, there are plenty of options available to them, including a few former Vikings who made starts during the Mike Tice era and have since moved to other teams. We list the guards that are scheduled to be unrestricted and restricted free agents in March, with their years of NFL service listed in parentheses.
Keydrick Vincent, Arizona Cardinals (7)
Ruben Brown, Chicago Bears (13)
Stacy Andrews, Cincinnati Bengals (4)
Seth McKinney, Cleveland Browns (6)
Fred Weary, Houston Texans (6)
Ryan Lilja, Indianapolis Colts (4)
Jake Scott, Indianapolis Colts (4)
Stockar McDougle, Jacksonville Jaguars (8)
Tutan Reyes, Jacksonville Jaguars (8)
Rex Hadnot, Miami Dolphins (4)
Chris Liwienski, Miami Dolphins (9)
Gene Mruczkowski, Miami Dolphins (4)
Jamar Nesbit, New Orleans Saints (9)
Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh Steelers (10)
Larry Allen, San Francisco 49ers (14)
Justin Smiley, San Francisco 49ers (4)
Milford Brown, St. Louis Rams (6)
Adam Goldberg, St. Louis Rams (4)
Jacob Bell, Tennessee Titans (4)
Rick DeMulling, Washington Redskins (7)
Elton Brown, Arizona Cardinals (3)
Jason Brown, Baltimore Ravens (3)
Geoff Hangartner, Carolina Panthers (3)
Evan Mathis, Carolina Panthers (3)
Joe Berger, Dallas Cowboys (3)
Chris Myers, Denver Broncos (3)
Ben Noll, Detroit Lions (3)
Stephen Peterman, Detroit Lions (3)
Dylan Gandy, Indianapolis Colts (3)
Chris Kemoeatu, Pittsburgh Steelers (3)
Scott Mruczkowski, San Diego Chargers (3)
Justin Geisinger, Washington Redskins (3)
2008 Free Agents: Guards
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