Renton, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks have parted ways with two members of their title-winning team, releasing oft-injured wide receiver Sidney Rice and defensive lineman Red Bryant on Friday.
Bryant started 17 games (including playoffs) during Seattle's march to its first NFL championship, though Rice spent much of the run as a spectator after the onetime Pro Bowl honoree tore his ACL in a matchup against St. Louis in late October.
Injuries were a common theme during Rice's three-season tenure with the Seahawks, who signed the former Minnesota Viking to a five-year, $41 million contract after the lifting of the 2011 lockout. A serious concussion limited him to just nine games in his first season with the team, and he appeared in only eight last year before hurting his knee. The seven-year pro also played in just six games in his final campaign with the Vikings before being shelved by a hip injury that required surgery.
Rice managed only 15 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns in 2013 and never came close to matching his breakthrough 2009 season in Minnesota, when the 27-year-old racked up 83 receptions totaling 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, during his time in Seattle.
Bryant has spent his entire six-year career with the Seahawks and inked a five-year, $35 million deal prior to the 2012 season. Noted for his run- stopping abilities, the 323-pound end compiled 30 tackles and a personal-best 1 1/2 sacks in 15 regular-season games this past season.
"We want to thank both Red and Sidney for their effort, commitment and contribution to the Seattle Seahawks over the last few years," said Seahawks general manager John Schneider. "These are extremely tough decisions, but we wanted to give them a head start on free agency. We wish them well in the future."
The moves will save the Seahawks nearly $13 million for the upcoming season. Rice was slated to have a cap hit of $9.7 million, while Bryant was slated to count $8.5 million against the cap.