BY Art Thiel 02:07PM 07/23/2014

Seahawks’ Rice retires at 27; concussions cited

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.


YourThoughts

  • RadioGuy

    Sad to see Sidney Rice’s football career end at age 27 but I can understand why. The longterm effects of concussions are serious so if he’s been smart with money he’s been paid as a football player, it’s best to walk away while he still can. A nice player when healthy. Best of luck on his investment with WIngstop.

    • art thiel

      I think we’ll see a trickle of veteran players who can see the far horizon make the decision to retire sooner than later. But for many, football is the only likely way to make big money despite the risks.

  • notaboomer

    concussions. are you listening overzealous youth football parents?

    • art thiel

      Unlikely. Not as long as the potential rewards continue to delude.

  • Marcus

    The official reason was concussions. The unofficial reason was that he knew he was done and there was no way that he was even making this team.

    • art thiel

      Parallel circumstances converged. Seahawks hired an Olympics-level track team at WR, and Rice is a smart guy who understands diminishing returns.

  • jafabian

    Sad to hear. Sir Sid brought some fun times on the turf for the SuperSeahawks. Hope we’ll see a Wingstop at the CLink soon!