The trade that sent the greatest receiver in NFL history from
the Oakland Raiders to the Seahawks was formally announced after
the league trade deadline passed in the afternoon.
Seattle gave up a seventh-round draft choice in 2005 to acquire
the 42-year-old Rice. To make room on their roster, the Seahawks
released rookie punter Donnie Jones.
The trade reunites Rice, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection in his
20th NFL season, with coach Mike Holmgren. Holmgren was
quarterbacks coach from 1986-88 and offensive coordinator from
1989-91 when Rice was developing into a star with the San Francisco
When the 49ers released Rice after the 2000 season, Holmgren
tried to persuade Rice to come to Seattle to help him build the
Seahawks into a Super Bowl contender. But Rice elected to stay in
the Bay Area and continue his career with the Raiders.
"We have a young, good football team," Holmgren said. "By
adding Jerry to the puzzle, I really believe with all my heart,
it's going to help us this season immediately."
Although the Seahawks will continue to go with Koren Robinson
and Darrell Jackson as their starting receivers, Rice will play
plenty with his new team, and Holmgren plans to use more
Rice will move from flanker, a position he has played his entire
career and where Jackson starts, to split end.
"He told me, 'I'll do anything you want me to do," Holmgren
Rice became disenchanted this season in Oakland when the Raiders
(2-4) stopped throwing him the ball. He has five catches for 67
yards and no touchdowns this season after leading the Raiders with
63 catches for 869 yards and two touchdowns last season.
In a 31-3 loss to Denver on Sunday, Rice didn't have a pass
thrown to him. His record receptions streak ended at 274 in Week 2
against Buffalo. Rice holds league records for most career
receptions (1,524), most yards receiving (22,533) and most
touchdown receptions (194).
"It's really been very frustrating," he said. "I just got
dealt a bad hand. It didn't work out in Oakland and I'm here.
That's behind me now and the main focus now is the Seattle
Raiders owner Al Davis tried to get a deal done quickly, even if
it meant getting less in return.
"It was Jerry Rice who made the decision, and we honestly tried
to accommodate him the best we can," Davis said Tuesday night in a
conference call. "All we're getting is a conditional seventh-round
draft pick. We accepted the trade out of respect for Jerry. We
wanted to accommodate Jerry. ... This is best for him, best for
this team and best for coach Norv Turner."
Asked whether he wants to play beyond this season, Rice said he
hasn't thought about it.
The Seahawks will pay the $873,529 that remains on his $1.35
million contract this season.
Seattle, which has lost two straight, might be without third
wide receiver Bobby Engram this weekend at Arizona. Engram sprained
his left ankle in a 30-20 loss to the Patriots last Sunday.
Holmgren said Rice would play against the Cardinals.
The Rice trade reminded Seahawks fans of 1984, when the team
brought in running back Franco Harris after losing Curt Warner for
the season with a knee injury in the opener.
Harris never resembled the player who made his Hall of Fame
career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was dismal for the
Seahawks, but the team finished 12-4 and made the playoffs.