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Seahawks Land Sidney Rice

By: — July 28, 2011 @ 10:14 am

Looking to bolster a wide receiver depth chart devoid of playmakers, the Seattle Seahawks landed Sidney Rice, the premier wide receiver available in free agency.

Rice is reunited with offensive coordinator Darren Bevell.

The acquisition of Rice immediately upgrades the Seahawks’ passing attack, providing their starting quarterback with a true No. 1 wide receiver, a role Mike Williams was ill-suited for. Who will be starting at quarterback for the Seahawks remains a major question mark, with Charlie Whitehurst and the recently signed Tarvaris Jackson expected to compete in training camp and through the preseason.

Chosen in the second round of the 2007 draft, Rice did little during his first two years in the league before reaching the Pro Bowl in 2009. With Brett Favre at quarterback, Rice had 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
His production fell dramatically in 2010, however, as poor quarterback play and a hip injury suffered at the end of the 2009 season limited him to just 17 receptions for 280 yards and a pair of scores over six games.

Fantasy Impact
Prior to the Vikings’ acquisition of Donovan McNabb, moving to Seattle would have made little difference to Rice’s fantasy prospects, with each team having major question marks at quarterback. But while McNabb is clearly on the downside of his career, he represents an obvious upgrade over rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder in Minnesota, as well as over the Seahawks’ pair of Whitehurst and Jackson.

In addition, the Vikings’ offense features more talent at the skill positions and along the offensive line than Seattle’s. That figures to limit Rice’s touchdown count with the Seahawks.

In Seattle, Rice will be reunited with former Vikings offensive coordinator Darren Bevell, so he should make a smooth transition to the Seahawks offense—always a concern when a wide receiver joins a new team.

While that is a positive, Rice’s fantasy value takes a hit with his move to Seattle because the Seahawks are likely to struggle with a pair of unproven quarterbacks and a rushing attack that also has major question marks. Rice remains a WR3 but moves down a couple of notches in the rankings, and the odds of him having a big season are far less likely in Seattle than they would have been in Minnesota.

  • Mike

    Percy Harvin = Monster year

  • Mike Krueger

    I’m not sure Harvin can be a #1 wide receiver. I would anticipate the Vikes will sign a free agent WR within the next few days.

  • TheFootballGuru

    Harvin struggled when the Vikes tried to feature him on the outside last year. It wasn’t until they moved him back into the slot that he started producing again. With the emphasis on two TEs in Bill Musgrave’s offense, Harvin will need to be able to produce consistently on the outside in 2011.

  • Jeff

    The biggest losers in this are, in order, Peterson, Rice, Harvin, and McNabb. AD will see the box stacked almost all the time now, Rice will see very few well thrown deep balls (and that is his money ball), Harvin will see the best cover corner plus help in obvious passing situations, and McNabb dropped about 10 projected TDs without a true deep threat. Minnesota needs to make more moves to deal with it’s WR talent. Braylon Edwards, anyone?

  • Dave Stringer

    @ TheFootballGuru
    Look for Vikings to run the ball more in 2011 and to utilize the TEs more in the passing game. Harvin will be used outside and in the slot so they have a need to add a veteran receiver to the roster.

    @ Jeff
    AP will get his so I can’t agree that he’s the biggest loser. That has to be Rice with McNabb close behind but I expect help will be added shortly. Harvin gets more touches so this has to be positive for him.

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