Robinson appealing suspension

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Koren Robinson is facing a four-game suspension for his third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

The suspension has not been announced because Robinson is appealing to the league. However, a decision could come soon.

The appeals process is almost "exhausted," sources familiar with this story said.

At his Monday news conference, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said he had not been notified by the league of any possible suspension against Robinson.

"It's between the player and the league," Holmgren said.

Holmgren was asked if a Robinson suspension would affect whether the Seahawks tried to obtain Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jerry Rice.

"Not really," Holmgren said. "That's a whole separate issue."

But there is mounting circumstantial evidence that Rice will be dealt to the Seahawks before the league's Tuesday trade deadline, ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reported.

ESPN.com has learned through several Oakland players that Rice bade farewell to his Raiders teammates on Monday, 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.

League sources said that the two teams have essentially agreed to the deal but that a few details must still be completed. It is believed the Raiders will receive a low-round draft pick, likely a seventh-rounder, in return for Rice.

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.

Information from ESPN's Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.