While the trade likely will not be announced until Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders on Monday night reached agreement on a deal that will send disgruntled wide receiver Jerry Rice to the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional seventh-round draft choice.
Earlier in the day, ESPN.com learned through several Oakland players that Rice bade farewell to his Raiders teammates, telling them he expected to be shipped to the Seahawks. In fact, Rice even autographed some of his used football cleats for younger teammates and signed some jerseys as well.
"He basically said, 'Hey, I'm out of here,' and wished us good luck for the rest of the season," said one player.
Trades for the 2004 season must be completed Tuesday by 4 p.m. Eastern time.
"Certainly we'd consider it," Holmgren said in Kirkland, Wash. "I had our pro personnel people look at Jerry. Yeah, we're exploring it. ... I would think it would give any team a boost, but really it's up to the Raiders. It's really their call."
The most prolific wide receiver in NFL history, and some contend the greatest player at any position, Rice has been all but forgotten by the Raiders in his 20th league season. He has just five receptions and, in three of five games, did not register a catch.
Although he did not demand a trade, Rice, who has made no secret of his desire to move to a team where he could get increased playing time, met last Wednesday with Oakland owner Al Davis. Since that meeting, he has consistently referred to the Raiders in the past tense, and spoken publicly about his fond memories of his tenure there.
In the past few days, the Raiders have ramped up their efforts to resolve the Rice issue, despite finding a relatively soft market for his services. At age 42, Rice is no longer a big-play threat, and most personnel directors view him as a possession receiver at best. Oakland officials believe that Rice, if retained, would simply be a distraction for the balance of the season.
The Seahawks were one of the finalists for Rice's services when he was released by San Francisco in the spring of 2001. Plus, the Seahawks, who have lost two straight games after a 3-0 start, are having problems at the wide receiver position.
No. 3 wideout Bobby Engram, one of the top slot receivers in the league, suffered a sprained left ankle in Sunday's defeat at New England and could be sidelined be a week or two.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.