Panthers ink Lucas, Wahle

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CHARLOTTE, NC – The Carolina Panthers have come to terms with Free Agent Guard/Tackle Mike Wahle and Cornerback Ken Lucas. Both immediately upgrade weak areas of the team and send a message through the league that the Panthers intend on returning to the Playoffs in 2005 and beyond.

Mike Wahle is a 27 year old throwback type lineman that excels in both Pass and Run blocking, and is ranked as the #1 Guard available in Free Agency by Scout.com. Wahle stands at 6' 6" tall and weighs in at 307 lbs. It's thought that the Panthers will play Wahle at Right Tackle.

"Mike gives us a great deal of flexibility on our offensive line and has a pride and fire that we feel will make him a great fit for the Panthers," Coach Fox told the media on Thursday. "We had a great respect for him when we competed against the Packers and are glad to have him on our side."

Wahle's deal is believed to be a 5 year, $15 million dollar deal with a $10 million dollar signing bonus.

Ken Lucas is 26 years old and was a 4 year starter for the Seahawks. Lucas is regarded as a good-tackling corner who excels in run support, who led the Seahawks in 2004 with 6 interceptions. Standing 6 feet tall, Lucas has a good height advantage over Ricky Manning, who is 5' 8" tall, and gives the Panthers a core of solid, playmaking corners and would solidify a traditionally weak position for the team. Lucas is ranked as the 3rd best cornerback available in Free Agency by Scout.com.

"We are very excited about adding Ken to our secondary," Fox said. "He has size and experience and is a young player who has improved every year."

Lucas is expected to get a 6 year deal for roughly $36 million, including a signing bonus of roughly $13 million dollars.

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