SEATTLE -- After nine years as Seattle Seahawks head coach, Chuck Knox is out.
A team spokesman said yesterday that Knox and the team's owners "mutually agreed" that Knox, 59, would not return.
No replacement was named. In a statement released by the club, general manager Tom Flores said, "I will immediately start the procedure in replacing the head-coaching position."
University of Miami coach Dennis Erickson is considered a top candidate, though he has said he isn't interested in moving to the NFL now.
Team spokesman Gary Wright, vice president for public relations, said the team will honor the buyout clause in Knox's contract, which calls for him to receive a sum believed to be between $200,000 and $500,000 if he is fired. Knox's contract, which ran through 1993, paid him $950,000 annually.
Knox is considered a candidate with the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings also are looking for coaches.
A Seahawks spokesman said that if Knox doesn't coach somewhere else, he will remain with the club as an adviser.
In a statement, Flores said: "We felt it best to go in a different direction. He [Knox] will be missed for his leadership, organization, competitive spirit and friendship. This is a tough business, and we must go on."
Knox said in the statement: "I appreciate the support and respect of the Seahawks organization, the fans, my assistant coaches and the players and the effort they put forth. I will make a decision shortly on what I want to do in the future."
Knox is the only coach in NFL history to win division titles with three clubs. He was with the Rams from 1973 to 1977, he was with the Buffalo Bills from 1978 to 1982 and he came to Seattle in 1983.
His NFL record is 171-114-1, ranking him No. 6 all-time in victories, and he has coached seven division winners and 11 playoff teams.
All that wasn't enough for him to keep his job with the Seahawks.