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Rice dealt to Seahawks

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jerry Rice watches the game from the sidelines during the Raiders' 31-3 loss to the Denver last Sunday.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jerry Rice watches the game from the sidelines during the Raiders' 31-3 loss to the Denver last Sunday.
Paul Sakuma, Associated Press

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

The trade will be finalized after Rice undergoes a physical and the league gives its approval. The Raiders did not say what they received in return for Rice, but two Internet sites reported it was for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.

Rice told his teammates Monday he was headed to the Seahawks, and signed autographs for some before leaving.

"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."

Holmgren was Rice's offensive coordinator from 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.

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

The 42-year-old Rice 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.

"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.