Tom Rouen, the Seahawks' punter for most of last season and all or part of the previous two, was released Monday, the team announced.
Rouen, who turned 38 on June 9, signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks in April for $850,000. He is entering his 14th NFL season but will now be looking for work elsewhere.
Rouen's release means the competition at punter is between rookie Ryan Plackemeier, a seventh-round draft pick, and Gabe Lindstrom, who punted in NFL Europe this past spring. Either punter should cost the Seahawks far less than Rouen's scheduled salary for this year, perhaps giving the team more salary-cap flexibility to add another free agent. Plackemeier and Lindstrom punted well enough in recent weeks to warrant releasing Rouen.
Special-teams coach Bob Casullo foreshadowed Rouen's release two weeks ago during the team's recent passing camp.
"Everybody here with the Seahawks will always love Tom Rouen, no matter what happens," Casullo said. "He may be our punter again. He may not. He understands the business."
Rouen played in Super Bowls with Denver and Seattle, joining the Seahawks in 2003. The following season, he injured his hamstring in Week 5 against St. Louis while trying to run down a punt return, and was placed on injured reserve.
The Seahawks went with Leo Araguz at punter to open the 2005 season, but cut Araguz and re-signed Rouen before the fifth game of the season. Rouen earned his way back onto the team after a solid workout the same week he was signed.
Rouen had 154 punts for 6,394 yards (41.5 average), 11 touchbacks and two blocked kicks while with Seattle.