Trade will likely be announced Tuesday

Updated: October 19, 2004, 5:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jerry Rice got his wish Monday night when the Oakland Raiders traded the NFL's most prolific receiver to the Seattle Seahawks.

Jerry Rice
Wide Receiver
Oakland Raiders
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
5 67 0 13.4 18 4

The trade will be finalized after Rice undergoes a physical and the league gives its approval. The Raiders received a conditional seventh-round draft choice for Rice, ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reported.

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.

"Yeah, we knew," fullback Zack Crockett, one of Rice's longtime friends, told The AP in a phone interview. "Right now, everything is so fresh. This is a real sad day. You lose a lot of close friends as well. We'll definitely miss him."

Rice asked for a trade last week as his role on the Raiders diminished. Earlier Monday, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said the team was looking into a possible deal.

"I would think it would give any team a boost, but really it's up to the Raiders," Holmgren said. "It's really their call."

The Seahawks, who had not made any announcement Monday night, will owe Rice the remainder of his $1.35 million base salary this season.

Rice, who is 42, wanted to play for a team that will give him a greater role. He has gone without a catch three times this season, including in Sunday's 31-3 loss to Denver, but still believes he can be productive.

Rice seemed incredibly conflicted after Sunday's game, alternately talking in the past, present and future tenses about his three-plus seasons with the Raiders. He spoke about what he could do to help turn around Oakland's 2-4 start, but also expressed his appreciation for 20 years of support from Bay Area fans.

Rice realizes the Raiders are focused on developing their young receivers: Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel and Alvis Whitted.

Seattle was a logical destination for Rice because he knows Holmgren's offense and the Seahawks might need a depth receiver.

Holmgren was Rice's offensive coordinator 1989-1991 with the San Francisco 49ers, and Holmgren was the Niners' quarterbacks coach starting in Rice's second season with the team in 1986.

"They know each other, and Mike was interested in Jerry before he signed with the Raiders," Rice's agent, Jim Steiner, said Monday afternoon. "He will know the offense if that's where he ends up, and he'll fit right in."

Rice is the NFL's career leader in catches and touchdowns and the only receiver ever to play after age 40. He has only five receptions for 67 yards and no touchdowns this year. Last season, he led the Raiders in catches (63) and yards receiving (869).

He claimed the Raiders never told him to expect a diminished role, and he would embrace the chance to play elsewhere because he "can't go out this way." He said earlier this year that this would be his last season, but backtracked later.

Rice left the Raiders' facility early Monday afternoon to handle family responsibilities.

"Nothing," Rice said of any developments. "My day is done. I'm going home to take care of some kids."

In one dramatic day, the last of Oakland's old guard was swept away. Earlier, injured quarterback Rich Gannon announced he won't return to the field for the Raiders this season because of a broken vertebra in his neck.

Gannon acknowledged that with longtime receiver Tim Brown already gone and Rice virtually out the door -- and his own football future uncertain -- this could mark the end of a special era for the Silver and Black.

"You could look at it that way," Gannon said. "Obviously, when you hire a new coach, there are some changes. I want to think of it as a beginning of an era."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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