The Seattle Seahawks, who last week solidified their offensive line by adding veteran left guard Mike Wahle, further stabilized the unit by reaching an agreement with starting right tackle Sean Locklear on an extension that takes the four-year veteran out of the unrestricted free agent market.
ESPN.com has learned that the two sides have agreed to a new five-year extension with a maximum value of $32 million and bonuses totaling $12 million.
Locklear, 26, would have hit the free agent market on Feb. 29 without the extension, and retaining him was a priority for Seahawks' management.
A former North Carolina State standout, Locklear started all 16 games at right tackle in 2007, the second time in three seasons he had started in every contest. Given his youth, starting status and a still-solid upside, Locklear likely would have been among the most highly sought young offensive linemen in free agency.
After playing exclusively as a backup in 2004, his rookie season, Locklear moved into the starting lineup in 2005 and has become a fixture there for the Seattle offense.
In four seasons, Locklear has appeared in 59 games, and started in 42 of them.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com