Sidney Rice retires from the NFL

Sidney Rice always had the potential to be an exceptional NFL receiver.

Size, speed, incredible leaping ability and safe hands. Everything you look for. Plus that little extra something that usually separates the good from the great — an agitated, pissed off with the world attitude.

I never had a problem with Sidney’s fairly frequent visible frustration. He knew how to get open — and one of Russell Wilson’s major areas for improvement is to capitalise on missed chunk plays. I’m sure we can all remember one of the several times Rice — hands clasped to his helmet — knew his QB had missed a chance.

One sticks in the mind — an impressive scramble in the playoff victory over Washington 18 months ago. At the time it looks great on the TV — until they played the replay. Rice destroyed the coverage. He was wide open. One look and throw from Wilson — it would’ve been a touchdown. And but for a timely fourth quarter comeback that play could’ve been costly.

For all the clutch plays and grit shown by Seattle’s receivers last year, nobody quite knew how to get open like Rice. Even when he was covered he usually found a way to make things happen — a late knee to the turf, an elbow grazing the grass just as he was about to go out of bounds.

Who can forget his touchdown in Arizona? Brilliance from Wilson to scramble and throw off balance — but also brilliance from Rice to adjust his route and find a soft spot in the end zone. Textbook. Pure class.

I’m not sure why this announcement was made today. ‘Concussions’ seem to be the slightly vague determining factor. Has he received some fresh medical advice? Was this latest comeback from a serious knee injury a step too far? Did he secretly know deep inside he wouldn’t make the cut?

As talented as he was, Rice just couldn’t stay healthy. He’s one of those guys who always seemed to be banged up one way or another.

It cost him a potential shot at greatness. The talent, the physical qualities, the attitude. It was all there.

Yet his role in Seattle shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about it a lot on here — but the 2010 Seahawks roster was a patchwork effort by Pete Carroll and John Schneider when they inherited a mess of a franchise. They needed to inject some proven quality in free agency to get it going.

When they signed Rice and Zach Miller during the 2011 off-season after a lengthy lockout, it continued the Beastquake momentum. It was the start of Seattle becoming a trendier destination for free agents. And as hoped, they made the team better. Good enough to contend and then eventually dominate.

He got a lot of cash for an injury hit spell with the Seahawks, but I highly doubt anyone in the front office will be second guessing the decision to sign Sidney Rice.

Seattle added Morrell Presley as a replacement — a TE/WR. Essentially, another big bodied target.


  1. Hay stacker509

    He had to realize he couldn’t compete against the younger wrs perhaps?

  2. MarkinSeattle

    Thinking the same thing. While it may not have been the deciding factor, you have to figure that it played into things. Especially considering that most projections had him fighting it out for the 6th WR spot or stashed on the PUP.

  3. CC

    Sad to see him go – he made some great catches, unfortunately, couldn’t stay healthy. This opens up that last spot or two – Norwood, Lockette, Matthews and maybe Bates.

    Best of luck Sid!

  4. SunPathPaul

    I saw no real possibility of him making the team. He is a great guy and teammate, but with all the injuries and with drafting not 1, but 2 bad ass rookies, he looked done here.

    I see our WR pool as this:

    1 Percy Harvin
    2 Doug Baldwin
    3 Paul Richardson
    4 Jermaine Kearse
    5 Kevin Norwood
    6 Chris Matthews (we’d have a 6’5″ guy!)
    7/ST Ricardo Lockette makes it as a Special Teams player…(possible?)

    We would have a TON of speed, solid size, and great versatility!

    What do you think Rob and others?

    • CC

      I think your first 4 are basically a lock – I think 5 and/or 6 will be the key competition. Someone threw out keeping 4 TE and 5 WRs, since they signed Chase Dixon is a young tall receiving TE. If he can play special teams, he might take one of those WR spots. Not sure how likely that is with McCoy back, but it is an interesting thought.

      • Hawksince77

        Gotta keep Norwood. May be one of the steals of the draft. Young, cheap and talented. Three years from now we might consider him the best Seattle WR in the past 2 years.

      • Mylegacy

        I’ve a soft spot for Rocket Lockette. The last half of last year he was playing like a man possessed. IF – he gets enough reps at WR doing the pre-season I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be a very pleasant surprise and make the team as the 6th receiver.

        This is a very talented group.

        As to Rice – I agree with Rob – had he been healthy he could’a been a champ…pity. So long Sid – and good luck (and health) in whatever comes next for you.

      • Steve Nelsen

        I think that they keep 6 wide receivers. I expect your top 5 to all make the 53-man roster.

        Lockette will probably not be able to keep a roster spot with special teams play alone so this is the camp for him to step up as a WR.

        Rice was not afraid to take a hit to make the play the team needed. I respect the heck out of him and I’m glad we had him.

      • Madmark

        Chase Dixon is no longer on the roster due to injury I believe. Ricardo will get the 6th spot due to a 4.33 40 time, special yeams play, and he did produce last year when he got into the game. In the superbowl he did have an 18 yard reception. He’s been around for a while now and he knows the system.
        Kevin Norwood I think is the perfect replacement for Rice.

  5. David M

    Sad to see rice go but it was best for him.

    I believe he wants to live a long enjoyable life. Concussions are no joke. Look at Brett farve, he isn’t 5yrs out of the league and already has memory problems. And I can bet you their only gonna get worse.

    Sidney is set, won a ring, made a killer amount of money, just opened a great franchise of restaurants here in the PNW. And now can retire while still healthy & young. Still has the chance to do many great things in his life.

    I’m glad though cause I really want to see Norwood on the team

  6. Madmark

    Welcome back Rob! I missed your articles and was starting to go stir crazy. I also was missing the comments by other people like me that you just don’t see anywhere else.
    There’s more that meets the eye than Sydney Rice’s abilities to catch passes. He knows Bevels system and has help coach every WR on this team last year on how to play in it, including Percy Harvins in Minnesota. I didn’t think he would make the team this year but I was willing for him to start on the PUP List just for his veteran leadership and coaching. I still think they might bring him back but as a coach instead of being a player. There’s always concern when a player has to go to Switzerland for a procedure on his knees, like Rice did last year. Then you suffer an ACL well. There’s 1 thing he’s got now that other players don’t and that’s a Superbowl Ring.
    I think Kevin Norwood was drafted to replace Rice and I think it was a perfect move. Norwood is way more mature coming out of Alabama and knows its not the numbers but when you make them count.

    • CC

      Agree with you – I enjoy the discussions here!

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