"I was surprised, but at the same time, it may have been the best thing for the team," Rice said. "It's tough losing a guy like Percy. He's one of a kind. The league has never seen a player like Percy Harvin.
"But there are certain things you've got to do to get the ball in his hands and it's tough. It takes away from what this team was built upon and that's Marshawn Lynch. I think now they will get back on track. I think it will end up being the best thing for both Percy and Seattle. I'm sure there's no bad blood."
Rice and Harvin played together in Minnesota in 2009-10 before Rice signed with Seattle in 2011. They were teammates again last season in Seattle.
Rice decided to retire before the start of training camp this season because of numerous injuries over his seven-year career, including several concussions. He missed the second half of the 2013 season after undergoing knee surgery and did not get to play in the Super Bowl. However, he was one of the most popular players on the team and was at every practice and game down the stretch last year.
Rice now owns five Wingstop restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. He had a message for his buddies, who are a surprising 3-3.
"I just told them to keep up their pace and get back to Seahawks football," Rice said. "If they do, they'll be back to where we were last year.
"This is a week-by-week game and it's a tough sport. Everybody is going to give their best shot to this team coming off the Super Bowl win. They have a target on their back. But losing two in a row is not a big deal. They still have a lot of football to play and the main focus now in on the [NFC West] division."