Seahawks' Sidney Rice Announces Retirement
By Corbin Smith
NBC Sports Pro Football Talk initially broke the news over Twitter, stating that a league source said Rice would walk away from the game due to a history of concussions. The Seahawks later confirmed the report through a press release on the team's official website.
“After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing in the National Football League,” said Rice, adding, “I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. I take great pride in knowing I was one of the players signed to help build the foundation of the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl. I'll be joining the 12s in support of the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat. I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities and look forward to establishing myself as a businessman. I will always be a Seahawk!”
Rice, 27, enjoyed a career year in 2009 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, racking up 1,312 receiving yards while hauling in passes from Brett Favre. Since then, however, he has only played in a full 16 games once and struggled to live up to a mega-deal he signed with the Seahawks prior to the 2011 season. After catching 50 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 for Seattle, he only managed 15 receptions in eight games last year before suffering a season-ending torn ACL on Monday Night Football.
With Rice set to make $9.7 million entering the final season of a four-year contract with the Seahawks and coming off a serious injury, the team decided to cut him in late February to save over $7 million in cap space. After failing to find any suitors as a free agent, he returned to the Pacific Northwest in April with a one-year, $1.4 million deal.
Despite the good feelings about returning home, Rice was a long shot to make the Seahawks final roster out of training camp. The team invested draft picks in rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood to add depth at receiver, and with Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse all set to contribute, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the veteran. Unless Seattle would have kept six receivers on the active roster, it appeared highly unlikely that he would have made the team even if fully recovered from knee surgery.
Rice will wrap up his seven-year NFL career with 243 receptions for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns and made one Pro Bowl appearance during that span.