The Seattle Seahawks are expected to complete a trade today in which they would obtain wide receiver Jerry Rice from the Oakland Raiders for a draft pick, an NFL source said last night.
The NFL's trading deadline is today. Rice said last week that he wanted to be traded or released, and he met with Raiders owner Al Davis to discuss the issue. The league's career receiving leader has five catches this season.
The trade would reunite him with Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren, a former assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers when Rice was with the club. Seattle likely would part with a seventh-round choice, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the trade would not become official until today, barring any last-minute snags. The Seahawks reportedly could be about to lose wideout Koren Robinson to an NFL-imposed suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Holmgren said during a news conference earlier yesterday that the deal for Rice, 42, was under consideration.
"I had our pro personnel people look at Jerry,'' Holmgren said, according to the Associated Press. "Yeah, we're exploring it.''
Meantime, Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon won't play again this season because of a broken vertebra in his neck suffered during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month but is leaving open the possibility of trying to return next year.
Gannon, who turns 39 in December, has been wearing a neck brace and was examined by a series of specialists in recent weeks. He was the NFL most valuable player in the 2002 season, when he led the Raiders to the Super Bowl.
"The general consensus is that a return to action this season is unrealistic,'' he said during a news conference yesterday at the Raiders' training facility. "As far as the future, I'm just not really in a position to speculate. . . . I have no regrets if that Sunday night game was my last." . . .
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers perhaps could trade quarterback Brad Johnson or holdout wide receiver Keenan McCardell today. There has been persistent speculation about McCardell perhaps being sent to Kansas City for disgruntled Chiefs tailback Larry Johnson.
Aches and Pains
Minnesota doesn't plan to determine before Friday whether wide receiver Randy Moss will play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. He strained his right hamstring Sunday night in a win over New Orleans and didn't play in the second half. He has played in 101 consecutive games. . . .
Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich has a sprained right ankle and bruised left shoulder, but Coach Jack Del Rio indicated he expects Leftwich to practice tomorrow and play Sunday at Indianapolis.
Seattle defensive end Grant Wistrom will be out 4 to 6 weeks with a small fracture in his left knee. Holmgren said Wistrom hyperextended his leg tackling Corey Dillon in Sunday's loss at New England. He will be replaced by Antonio Cochran. . . .
Carolina Panthers Coach John Fox said a series of tests revealed no serious ailment affecting defensive end Mike Rucker, who left Sunday's loss at Philadelphia because of an irregular heartbeat. Fox said he didn't expect Rucker to miss any practice time or games. . . .
Bears Coach Lovie Smith said that Jonathan Quinn probably will keep his job as starting quarterback despite two straight poor starts, but rookie Craig Krenzel will get more practice this week.
Whither R. Williams?
Retired Miami Dolphins tailback Ricky Williams and his attorney, David Cornwell, likely will meet with NFL officials Thursday to discuss Williams's playing status. Cornwell apparently is prepared to argue that Williams should be allowed to play this season. The league's stance has been that Williams is ineligible to play this season under provisions of the substance-abuse policy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.