After a disappointing 2013 season with the Seattle Seahawks that was cut short by an ACL injury, Sidney Rice is looking to prove that he can still be a productive wide receiver in the NFL in 2014. Rice will do so with the Seattle Seahawks after agreeing to terms on a 1-year deal, according to Pro Football Talk.
Sidney Rice agrees to terms with the Seahawks, per league source. One-year deal.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 16, 2014
His quarterback Russell Wilson was certainly excited:
YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! @sidneyrice— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) April 17, 2014
The news comes shortly after the Seahawks released the receiver ahead of the start of free agency. While it was a move that made plenty of sense for salary-cap purposes, it was a tough decision for general manager John Schneider, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:
We want to thank both Red [Bryant] and Sidney for their effort, commitment and contribution to the Seattle Seahawks over the last few years. These are extremely tough decisions, but we wanted to give them a head start on free agency. We wish them well in the future.
Now he's back.
Entering last season as the perceived No. 1 receiver for the Seahawks, Rice got off to a slow start in 2013. After finishing with just three receptions through the first two games, Rice broke out against the Jacksonville Jaguars with five receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
The former Minnesota Vikings receiver didn't continue that success, however, as he posted just 15 receptions through eight games played. But his presence on the field is still a huge one thanks to his veteran leadership.
Earlier in free agency, Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks pleaded for his teammate to return:
Won’t you come back, come back, come back… @sidneyrice— Doug Baldwin Jr (@DougBaldwinJr) March 15, 2014
When Rice is fully healthy, he has the ability to be one of the top receivers in the game. In 2012, he finished with 50 receptions for 748 yards and seven touchdowns during Russell Wilson's rookie season.
Following the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reported that Pete Carroll believed Rice's recovery was going well:
Carroll spoke glowingly about Rice's recovery after Super Bowl.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) March 14, 2014
As for the receiver himself, Rice spoke about his progress on Twitter:
How much of an impact will Rice make in 2014?
If Rice can return to have the same productivity that he did during his days in Minnesota or even in 2012 with the Seahawks, Seattle is getting a great player.
Though he has struggled to stay on the field and has played a full 16-game regular season just twice in seven years in the league, Rice is still just 27 years old and has coveted size at 6'4", 202 pounds.
Regardless of the numbers Rice puts up, he will attract attention away from Baldwin and Percy Harvin and help Seattle's offense. But with his health being questionable after coming off ACL surgery, there is no way to tell how Rice will respond in 2014 until Week 1 arrives.
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