KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) _ Jerry Rice was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Friday, perhaps signaling an end to the career of greatest receiver in NFL history.
The release was announced in a short statement from the team, which acquired the 42-year-old Rice from Oakland in a trade last season.
``We are grateful to Jerry and the role he was willing to fill for the Seahawks last year,'' coach Mike Holmgren said in the statement. ``He is one of the greatest players in the history of our game and we wish him nothing but the best.''
Rice is the career leader in receptions with 1,549; total yards with 22,895; and receiving touchdowns with 197, all far ahead of the closest pursuer. He also leads in total touchdowns with 207, 32 more than Emmitt Smith, who announced his retirement earlier this month.
Rice indicated after the Seahawks were eliminated by St. Louis in the playoffs last month that he still was interested in playing.
``I still feel like I have football left in me, a lot of football in me,'' he said.
However, it remains to be seen whether there is a team who might be interested in signing a 42-year-old, who began his career with San Francisco in 1985 and was on three Super Bowl winners with the 49ers, winning the Super Bowl MVP in 1989.
He was traded to the Raiders after the 2000 season and dealt to Seattle at the trading deadline. Last season, Rice had 30 catches for 429 yards, by far the lowest totals of his 20-year career other than in 1997, when he missed most of the season with a knee injury. His three touchdown receptions last season and two in 2003 were the lowest of his career for any full season other than his rookie year, when he also had three.
Among the other records he holds is receptions in 274 straight games, a streak that ended last season while he was still with the Raiders.