Wahle lands in Seattle

There had been speculation the Packers were interested in bringing guard back to Green Bay

Mike Wahle won't be an answer to the Green Bay Packers' shortcomings at guard.

Wahle signed a five-year contract with Seattle on Thursday as the Seahawks load up for a Super Bowl run in Mike Holmgren's final year as coach.

"This works out really well in a multitude of ways," Wahle told Sirius NFL Radio. "They're playoff contenders. Their quarterback's an All-Pro guy ... he's in his prime right now. This is going to be a great experience for my family, and a great experience with the relationship between myself and the Seahawks."

Wahle spent his first seven seasons in Green Bay — he was a second-round pick in the 1998 Supplemental Draft out of the Navy — and his first head coach with the Packers was Holmgren. Beyond that, though, Wahle's parents own a second home in Bainbridge, Wash., which is located across the bay from Seattle, and the family has many relatives living in the Pacific Northwest.

"The Seahawks definitely had a home-field advantage with Mike," agent Neil Cornrich told The Associated Press.

According to Cornrich, the two-time Pro Bowler signed a contract comparable to other starting guards in the NFL, meaning a base salary of about $3 million and likely a hefty signing bonus.

Wahle earned about $18 million in salary and bonuses during three seasons with the Carolina Panthers, who released him on Monday for salary-cap reasons and to make room for younger linemen.

Wahle, who turns 31 next month, will be the fourth player trying to replace All-Pro Steve Hutchinson since he signed with Minnesota after the 2005 season. He's started all 16 games in six of the last seven seasons.

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com

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