Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice will retire from professional football.
That decision, first reported by ProFootballTalk.com and since confirmed by the team, comes from concern over Rice’s history of concussions. He was placed on injured reserve midway through the 2011 season after suffering two concussions in the span of three games.
“I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans,” Rice said, according to a statement released by the team. “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!”
Rice, 27, played the past three seasons with Seattle, appearing in 33 games. He suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through last season, missing the final eight games. He was released after the season ended, but re-signed a one-year deal that would have totaled $1.4 million.
There was no guarantee Rice would make Seattle’s roster, however. Not only was he coming off reconstructive knee surgery, but receiver will be one of the most competitive spots on Seattle’s 53-man roster.
Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and rookie Paul Richardson can be considered fairly certain to make the team, leaving perhaps no more than two other spots with candidates like rookie Kevin Norwood not to mention veterans like Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters, who are special-teams considerations as well.
Rice led Seattle with 50 receptions in 2012, his most in any of his three seasons in Seattle. It was also the only time in the previous four seasons that he played a full season. Going back to 2010 — his final year in Minnesota — Rice has undergone surgery on his hip, both shoulders and his knee.
“The entire organization would like to thank Sidney for his leadership over the past three seasons,” general manager John Schneider said. “His time as a Seahawks player displayed the core values that (coach Pete Carroll) 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.”