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Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Seahawks finalize deal with Raiders for Rice

October 20, 2004

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— The Seattle Seahawks finally added Jerry Rice on Tuesday.

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 standout with the San Francisco 49ers.

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 four-receiver sets.

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 said.

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