Two days before training camp opens, WR Sidney Rice, who played half the 2013 season before tearing his ACL but was re-signed in April, has retired, the Seahawks announced Wednesday. Citing an unidentified league source, ProFootballTalk.com, reported that the 27-year-old Rice’s decision “arises from his history of concussions. “
Rice, 27, was scheduled to make $1 million if he made the team, but was unlikely to get much playing time ahead of returning vets Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and top draftee Paul Richardson.
Rice’s statement in the team’s release:
“After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing. I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. I take great pride in knowing I was one of the players signed to help build the foundation of the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl.
“I’ll be joining the 12s in support of the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat. I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities and look forward to establishing myself as a businessman. I will always be a Seahawk!”
In 2013, Rice caught 15 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns, with a long of 31 yards, before being injured Oct. 28 against St. Louis. Knee surgery and rehab caused him to miss the final eight games and all of the playoffs. He was cut after the season to save $7.3 million in cap room.
He received medical clearance to return in April from his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, and the Seahawks re-signed him in the free agency period.
“The entire organization would like to thank Sidney for his leadership over the past three seasons,” general manager John Schneider said in the release. “His time as a Seahawks player displayed the core values that Pete and I aimed to bring to the program and Sidney is a true champion. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Rice was drafted in the second round, 44th overall, in 2007 by the Minnesota Vikings and had a breakout year in 2009, when he had career highs of 83 catches, 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns from QB Brett Favre. But a series of injuries compromised the rest of his career, which included one more season with the Vikings and three in Seattle. In those four seasons, he caught 114 passes. He started 16 games only once, in 2012.
Rice recently invested in Wingstop franchise restaurants and opened the first of five in the Seattle area in June.