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Rice: ‘Door was always open’ for return to Seahawks

By Brent Stecker

Things started looking up for Sidney Rice about a week ago.

The veteran NFL wide receiver had a bad end to his 2013 season in the form of an ACL tear in Week 8 against the Rams, and it went to worse when the Seahawks released him as a cost-cutting measure on Feb. 28. But it all turned around last Monday.

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Sidney Rice said he is “ahead of schedule” in his recovery from a torn ACL that ended his 2013 season in Week 8 and held him out of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. (AP)

That’s when Rice was cleared by doctors to work out for teams, and as luck would have it, the same organization that released him just months earlier had a need for a receiver with his exact kind of skillset. By Wednesday, Rice himself had announced his return to Seattle.

It may seem surprising that Rice decided to sign with the same team that cut him, but as he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny,” he never felt disrespected by the team he spent the past three seasons playing for.

“The door was always open,” Rice said. “When I went up to (general manager John) Schneider’s office to talk to him and coach (Pete) Carroll right when they decided to release me, that was one of the first things they mentioned, that they would love to have me back. It was just a few things that they had to work out, and me being in the league for seven years now I understand that it’s a part of the business, that things happen like that sometimes.”

Rice, whose one-year deal is reportedly worth $1.4 million, said the reaction from Seahawks fans to his injury last season factored into him taking less money to come back to Seattle than what he was offered by the New York Jets offered.

“I don’t think I’ve been around a place where you get injured and still have the full support of the fan base, and that really meant a lot to me,” he said. “Just to be back and have another opportunity to play in front of the 12s at C-Link is a huge part of the factor, too.”

Coming off his injury, Rice told “Brock and Danny” he’s confident about his ACL and is eager to get back to work on the field.

“I’m doing really well. I’m quite ahead of schedule,” he said. “I got cleared last Monday to start doing cutting and things like that. I was just excited to get back here to the facility.

“Right when I walked in the facility (Friday), the first thing I did was walk to my locker and put my Seahawk gear on, my shoes, my pants, and went up there, signed my contract, and just went immediately downstairs to get with our trainers and start our training session right away.”