Thursday, March 03, 2005
The Seahawks have lost Ken Lucas to the Carolina Panthers. Lucas signed a 6-year deal today with the Panthers, terms not immediately known. He is believed to have received a signing bonus of $13 million.
Lucas said he desperately wanted to join Carolina's vaunted defense to play behind Julius Peppers and Kris Jenkins.
"I knew before I even got off the plane that I wanted to sign with Carolina," Lucas said. "Anybody in the NFL knows that the Carolina Panthers have the most talented D-line in the NFL. If I had to choose between Seattle and Carolina, I would have easily chose Carolina."
Lucas had six picks last season, tying him with Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble for most in the NFC. Now, he may push Gamble out of a starting job. Panthers coach John Fox said Lucas will start for Carolina, and Gamble and Ricky Manning Jr. will have to battle for the other slot.
"As far as corners in the NFL, I think I am one of the most complete corners there is. I can do a little of everything," Lucas said. "By me playing in a small market, a lot of people don't know about me. I have a lot to prove."
Gamble was a first-round draft pick last season, and Manning is best known for his three interceptions against Philadelphia in the 2004 NFC championship game.
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Seattle is a bigger market than Charlotte, by the way.
However, there is a difference between the Seahawks and Panthers. The Panthers have been to the Super Bowl and the Seahawks haven't. And as Lucas said, the Panthers have a better defensive line. Not even the most diehard Seahawk fan can argue that point.
Carolina head coach John Fox is a defensive-minded coach. He will get the most out of Lucas. Panthers fans should be happy today, not only with Lucas signing, but with former Packers guard Mike Wahle signing as well.
In other football news related to the Seahawks, the Rams have signed linebacker Chris Claiborne to a 3-year deal. Claiborne is the second linebacker to sign with the Rams in as many days, with Dexter Coakley agreeing to terms yesterday.
As ESPN's Chris Berman has said repeatedly over the last year or so, COME ON SEATTLE! The Seahawks can ill-afford to get behind the 8-ball as other teams in the NFC get better.