Seahawks and wide receiver Sidney Rice agree to deal

To address a need at receiver, the Seahawks turned to a familiar face.

Less than two months after releasing Sidney Rice to free up salary cap space, the Seahawks agreed to terms Wednesday on a deal to bring the receiver back to Seattle.

Rice broke the news himself on Twitter, writing, “Aaayyyyooo 12s.. SEA you in a few.. IM COMIN’ HOME! #Seahawks #12thman #Round2.”

Round 2, as Rice put it, will come with different expectations than Rice’s first contract with Seattle. When Rice joined the Seahawks in 2011, he was the first big-money free agent signing for head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, signing a five-year, $41 million deal. Back then Rice was brought to Seattle to be a bona fide No. 1 receiver, something similar to what he was in Minnesota in 2009 when he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.

Now, Rice, 27, will still try to be a productive receiver, but he’s also hoping to simply prove he can stay healthy having missed the second half of last season, as well as seven games in 2011. Since that highly productive 2009 season, Rice has missed significant time because of hip and knee injuries, as well as multiple concussions. He also had surgery on both shoulders after concussions ended his 2011 season early, but he played in all 16 games in 2012, putting up his best numbers as a Seahawk with 50 catches for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.

While far from a sure thing, Rice’s return to Seattle is hardly surprising. Shortly after he and Red Bryant were released, head coach Pete Carroll left the door open to a return for the two cap casualties, saying, “”maybe we have a chance to get them back, maybe we don’t. We’ll have to wait and see.”

While Bryant was quickly snatched up by Jacksonville, Rice, who is coming off a torn ACL that ended his 2013 season in October, did not immediately find a suitor. With Rice receiving clearance Monday to resume football activities, teams began showing interest this week. Rice visited the New York Jets Wednesday, but ultimately he decided to stay in Seattle.

Several of Rice’s teammates expressed their happiness at the news on Twitter, including quarterback Russell Wilson, who wrote, “YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! @sidneyrice.”

The Seahawks released Rice to save $7.5 million in cap space, but Carroll has always raved about Rice’s ability, and presuming this contract — reportedly a one-year deal — is worth significantly less than his previous one, he could represent a bargain for Seattle if he can stay healthy.

And yes, that’s a big “if,” but if Rice is healthy, the Seahawks would be adding a productive pass catcher after losing last year’s leading receiver, Golden Tate, in free agency. At 6-foot-4, Rice also give the Seahawks needed height to a unit that, while very productive without him during a Super Bowl run, lacked size without him. Prior to Rice’s signing, Seattle’s receiving corps did not include a player over 6-foot-2 who had played a down in the NFL (Seattle did add 6-5 receiver Chris Matthews, who spent the last two seasons in the CFL).

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

More in Sports

Snohomish’s 1970 basketball team headlines Hall of Fame class

Those Panthers will be inducted into the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Cascade’s Kolomiyets tops Jackson’s Vimawala in tennis showdown

The Bruins’ star beat his Timberwolves counterpart in straight sets in a matchup of the region’s best.

Adidas exec, 4 coaches charged in college bribery scheme

Prosecutors said at least 3 recruits were promised up to $150K to attend schools Adidas sponsored.

Poll: Help us plan this week’s high school football coverage

This week The Herald covers HS football at Glacier Peak/Monroe, and Jackson/Lake… Continue reading

UW receiver McClatcher likely out for season

Federal Way product broke his ankle during the Huskies’ win over Colorado.

Carroll: Seahawks at forefront of ‘extraordinary’ times

The Seattle coach spoke on what his players believe is their duty as pro athletes with a platform.

Monday’s prep results and links

Here are Monday’s prep results and links: BOYS TENNIS Wesco 4A Kamiak… Continue reading

Granite Falls volleyball building from grassroots level

The Granite Falls volleyball team has won a combined 11 matches over… Continue reading

Multi-sport athletes fueling Mountlake Terrace cross country

Mountlake Terrace cross country coach Todd Weber said he believes both of… Continue reading

Most Read