The Seahawks took a huge gamble during the 2011 off-season by signing Rice, who had missed ten games in 2010 due to microfracture hip surgery, to a five-year, $41 million deal that included $18.5 million in guarantees. After an injury-plagued 2011 in which he caught 32 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns in nine games, Seahawks management is probably wishing they could have a do-over. Rice suffered a labrum tear in his shoulder in the preseason and then dealt with several other injuries, including a pair of concussions over three games that forced the team to shut him down for the season. Rice needed a pair of surgeries this off-season to fix his shoulder issues and with just one 16-game season in five years, the odds are long that he will play a full season in 2012. While Riceís injuries are a big issue, his standing on the Seahawks depth chart is not. He is clearly the teamís best wide receiver and remains capable of producing another blockbuster season like he did in 2009 when he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl. Matt Flynn should represent an upgrade at quarterback and help Riceís production in 2012 but that only matters if he can stay on the field and the bottom line is that he hasnít been able to. Consider Rice a low-end WR and not worth reaching for on draft day.
Comment:Rice has an extensive injury history and the Seahawks management obviously feels like they need help at the position.
Sidney Rice walked away from what has been his life and into a new chapter of his life on Wednesday. "Iíve hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. Itís something Iíve always battled through and came back from. But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road."(Seahawks.com)
FF Today's Take:Rice battled a number of ailments including concussions and knee injuries during his brief career. His best season was in 2009 when he caught 83 passes for 1312 yards and 8 touchdowns as a member of the Vikings. The Seahawks will move forward with Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin as their top two wideouts. Jermaine Kearse should see an increase in opportunities as a result of Rice's retirement.
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