Going out on top?

Friday is the final day in which fans can log onto nfl.com and cast their Pro Bowl votes. Packers coach Mike Sherman took some time this week to do some campaigning for guard Mike Wahle.

"A lot of our offense is predicated on his abilities as a pulling guard," Sherman said. "So, to put him in the Pro Bowl category, I think it'd be idiotic not to."

Wahle certainly isn't making any reservations to Hawaii. Pro Bowl voting historically is little more than a popularity contest. That's especially true with the offensive line, where there are no stats to point to as is the case at the skilled positions.

"After the last couple of years I'm pretty skeptical on the whole thing," Wahle said.

Last year, teammate Marco Rivera was one of three Pro Bowl guards for the NFC, joined by perennial pick Larry Allen of Dallas and LeCharles Bentley of New Orleans. The Packers thought Wahle should have joined Rivera at the all-star game last season due to the team's prolific offensive production. Not only was he not among the three chosen, but he wasn't among the three alternates, either.

"To not even get an alternate, after the way I played, you go, ‘Well, if that's how it's going to be, I'm not going to put too much stock into it.' But once in my career, I'd be nice to go," said Wahle, who helped pave the way for Ahman Green's record-setting year and keep Brett Favre off the seat of his pants.

It would be nice to go in what could be his last season in Green Bay. Wahle is owed $11 million by the Packers for next season, a figure that includes a $6 million roster bonus. With the Packers perennially up against the salary cap, they may not be able to afford the services of the athletic Wahle.

"I'm not going to really think about it, to be honest with you," said Wahle when asked for his thoughts about potentially playing his final game at Lambeau Field on Sunday. "I'm determined to win a football game."

If the Packers figure out a way to keep Wahle, it may come at the expense of Rivera. Rivera, 32, will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. Wahle, 27, has the longer NFL future.

"If it does happen to be my last (home) game, then it's been a good ride," Rivera said. "There's really nothing else I can do. It's up to the Packers and their plans for the future and how they handle it. We'll see what happens."


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