By Brady Henderson
Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice could be ready for the start of the 2014 season, general manager John Schneider said Wednesday.
"Yeah, absolutely," Schneider told reporters when asked if Rice might be available for Seattle's opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, which would be a little over 10 months after the receiver torn his ACL.
Rice's potential availability was among the topics Schneider discussed during a pre-draft meeting with reporters.
Rice was injured midway through last season, which was his third in Seattle since signing a five-year, $41 million contract. Seattle released him last month in an expected move that kept the team from having to pay his $8.5 million 2014 salary. He rejoined the Seahawks on a one-year, $1.4 million deal, choosing to return to Seattle over what he said was a larger offer from the Jets.
"When we released him it was hard," Schneider said, "but we explained the landscape to Sidney and his representative and we stayed in contact with him all the way through it."
Schneider, Ireland reunite
Schneider and Jeff Ireland know each other from their days in the Chiefs' front office and have remained friends since moving on to other jobs throughout the NFL. Now that Ireland has been hired by Seattle as a consultant through the draft, it means the two no longer have to play it coy when their conversations shift to football.
"It's really weird because we were talking the other night," Schneider said, "we were just talking openly about players whereas for over the last like 15 years or whatever we've been like, 'Do you like this guy?' 'Kinda.' 'Do you?' 'Kinda.'
"It's actually really fun and refreshing."
Schneider said he's not sure what role – if any – Ireland will have after the draft. He also said he doesn't know what the organization will do with the front-office position that was vacated when senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan resigned.
Bowie 'first up' at right tackle
Michael Bowie started seven games at right tackle as a rookie last season while Breno Giacomini was out with a knee injury. When asked about the candidates for that position now that Giacomini has moved on in free agency, Schneider said Bowie "would be first up" and also mentioned Alvin Bailey, who was also a rookie last season.
"There's a couple guys that we feel like can play there and compete at that spot," Schneider said.
• Schneider said the team has yet to decide whether or not it will exercise the fifth-year option on LG James Carpenter's rookie contract. The deadline is Saturday. Carpenter, the 25th pick of the 2011 draft, would be in line to make $7.4 million in 2015 if his option is picked up, making it a virtual certainty that Seattle will decline to do so.
710 ESPN Seattle's Liz Mathews contributed to this report.