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Seahawks acquire Whitehurst from Chargers, give him two-year deal

The Seattle Seahawks, who are trying to bolster themselves at quarterback, traded for San Diego Chargers third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst, who has yet to throw a pass in an NFL regular-season game.

The Seahawks traded their second-round pick in next month's draft, allowing the Chargers to move up 20 spots to No. 40 overall, and took San Diego's 60th choice in the deal completed Thursday.

The Seahawks also gave the Chargers a 2011 pick, believed to be a third-rounder. Whitehurst, who played at Clemson, was taken by the Chargers in the third round in the 2006 draft.

The Seahawks signed Whitehurst to a two-year, $8 million contract with incentives, and the 27-year-old might be considered the quarterback of the future. Seattle's current starter, three-time Pro Bowl pick Matt Hasselbeck, is 34 and entering the final year of his contract.

"We looked at the films -- he has played extensively in the preseason -- the kinds of throws he's made, the defenses he played against, all kinds of situations," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said during Thursday's news conference to introduce Whitehurst. "We thought we accumulated enough information.

"The fact that he is such a good athlete, that he runs so well, he has very good feet, good speed for the quarterback position, we think he enhances the style of play we want to put out there."

Whitehurst, a restricted free agent, replaces former backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, whom the Seahawks traded to the Cleveland Browns last week. Whitehurst played in two games during his rookie season, but he didn't attempt a pass, and he has been inactive for every game in each of the last three years.

"I haven't played four seasons in the NFL, but I've been behind a great quarterback in Philip Rivers," said Whitehurst, the son of former NFL quarterback David Whitehurst. "It's a similar situation to Matt here. You learn a ton from those guys.

"I think I can move a little bit. I think I can make the throws. I think I can lead the team and think we can win. I certainly have some things to work on. I don't have a ton of experience in game situations. I understand that. That's where I have to make up pretty soon and convince everybody this was the right thing to do. That's what I plan on doing."

This is the first major decision for new Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who was hired Jan. 19 to turn around a franchise that has posted a 9-23 record over the past two seasons.


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"When you see something like this available," Schneider said, "you have to take your shot."

Schneider said the Seahawks "would consider Charlie part of our draft class," but he didn't rule out drafting another quarterback this year. The Seahawks hold two first-round selections, the sixth and 14th.

Carroll, who replaced head coach Jim Mora in January, said "for our situation, we think we're getting a guy ahead of a college guy coming out.

"He certainly has not been on the football field, but he's in those meeting rooms, on the practice field, he's in on the strategy on game day. All those things add up," Carroll said. "There's always risk involved when you make decisions like this. But our research and our background in making a trade of this nature, we felt he had the elements put together in a process that allows us to make a confident, solid decision. We're not looking over our shoulder on this deal."

The Seahawks also announced Thursday that they had signed free-agent running back Quinton Ganther to a one-year contract. Ganther, 25, played for the Washington Redskins last season and made four starts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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