What Sidney Rice's Return Means for the Seattle Seahawks

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystApril 16, 2014

USA Today

Not too long ago, it was thought that Sidney Rice was set to become one of the next great wide receivers in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks were sure enough of it to give Rice a five-year, $41 million contract back in 2011.

Things didn't exactly work out as planned, but it appears the Seahawks are going to give Rice one last shot.

After being let go by Seattle earlier this year in a cost-cutting measure, Rice himself tweeted he was coming back to the Pacific Northwest:

ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed the news, passing along word that Rice will rejoin the Seahawks on a one-year deal:

It's a move that certainly seemed to meet with the approval of at least one of Rice's new (old) teammates:

Of course, on some level it's hard to see what Wilson is so excited about. Rice's 231 receiving yards last year were his lowest since 2008, and Rice was only recently cleared to resume football activities after tearing his ACL last October.

That's been the story of Rice's career since he broke out for 1,312 receiving yards back in 2009.

In fact, since that breakout season, Rice has managed only 1,743 yards in four years, missing 25 games over that span.

Sidney Rice Career Stats
Per NFL.com

Simply put, there's no telling when Rice will be anywhere close to 100 percent, how close to the "old" Rice that will be or how long he'll stick around once he arrives.

With that said, though, there's also a reason why all it took for a contract to suddenly materialize in the Emerald City was the New York Jets inviting Rice in to talk.

First off, as recently as 2012, Rice caught 50 passes for 748 yards for the Seahawks, averaging nearly 15 yards a catch and hauling in seven scores.

Those aren't Calvin Johnson numbers, but they aren't cat food, either.

The Seahawks could use the production, too. Golden Tate left for Motown in free agency, and Seattle may have finally gotten a real taste of what having Percy Harvin on the field can be like in their Super Bowl win, but Harvin hasn't been any more durable than Rice of late.

Not only does Rice provide some sorely needed depth, but he's a familiar face who is already intimately familiar with the offense and has a built-in rapport with Wilson.

And he's 6'4", which doesn't hurt on fade routes.

Granted, given Rice's injury history, there's a real chance this signing could be much ado about nothing. However, there's also enough upside there that the Seahawks bit as soon as another team came anywhere near the bait.

For what's likely a minimal financial investment, it's a deal that makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks.