Seahawks release DE Red Bryant and WR Sidney Rice

The Seahawks made two salary-cap saving moves official Friday, releasing receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Red Bryant. Both moves were expected—Rice’s impending release was reported a week ago, and Bryant’s was reported Sunday—but are still significant departures for the Super Bowl champions.

Bryant has been a starting defensive end since moving to that position in 2010, serving as the anchor of Seattle’s run defense, while also becoming a leader of one of the league’s top defenses over the past few seasons.

Rice became Seattle’s first big-money free agent signing under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, agreeing to a five-year deal in July of 2011. Injuries cut short his 2011 season, then after playing all 16 games in 2012, Rice was limited to eight games in 2013, seeing his season end because of a torn ACL.

“We want to thank both Red and Sidney for their effort, commitment and contribution to the Seattle Seahawks over the last few years,” Schneider said in a press release. “These are extremely tough decisions, but we wanted to give them a head start on free agency. We wish them well in the future.”

By releasing Rice and Bryant, the Seahawks free up $12.8 million in cap space for 2014.

Rice took to Twitter to say his goodbyes following his release, writing: “The amount of love I have for the #12thman and the @Seahawks organization! Thanks for a wonderful experience! #superbowlchampions #workethic #values #class”

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