Seahawks Insider

Sidney Rice can’t wait to get back

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on April 25, 2014 at 1:10 am with 54 Comments »
April 25, 2014 1:10 am
Sidney Rice wants to be in uniform the next time he hold the Lombardi Trophy. / AP photo
Sidney Rice wants to be in uniform the next time he hold the Lombardi Trophy. / AP photo

To use his term, trainers “snatched” Sidney Rice off the Seahawks’ practice field Thursday.

He was merely running light routes, using ever-improving legs. Rice tore an ACL last year during the Week 7 game in St. Louis. That makes Oct. 19, 2013 the last time Rice ran routes full-out, so forgive him if he has a hankering to get back on the field.

“You might feel good, but that doesn’t mean it’s always good to keep pushing it,” Rice told the News Tribune. “They’re keeping a real close eye on me.”

That Rice is back on the Seahawks’ practice field at all is a surprise. Seattle cut him after the season to create $7.3 million in salary cap space. Rice signed a five-year, $41 million deal to join the Seahawks in 2011. He saw an adjustment coming before eventually returning on a one-year deal worth a reported $1.4 million.

“I’ve been around this league for a long time,” Rice, who came into the NFL out of South Carolina in 2007, said. “I kind of knew what the process was going from my injury, going into the fourth year of my contract, so I knew they would try to renegotiate or cut me before the deadline, and that’s what happened.”

However, when he left the office of general manager John Schneider on Feb. 28, Rice departed with an understanding. The Seahawks wanted him back, if possible.

As his rehabilitation continued, he assessed other offers, namely one from the New York Jets. With each passing week, Rice was able to do more. He sent videos of his workouts to Seahawks director of health and player performance, Sam Ramsden. In turn, Ramsden gave Rice things to work on.

It was similar to how Rice remained in touch with the team even after he was hurt. He was often around the facility and on the sidelines during games. Rice remained in constant contact with the receiving corps. Though just 27 years old, he’s the most experienced wide receiver the Seahawks have.

“Some of those guys look up to me and they express it often,” Rice said. “They look to me for guidance. I’ve been in this system for seven years. Certain things that they might not understand, I might have a better understanding of. I was still part of the team. Any way I could help them to keep progressing and help them get to the point they got to and win the Super Bowl, I was all for it. I didn’t want to let them down in any sense.”

That leadership position was among the reasons Rice came back. Having a full understanding of NFL — and Seattle — economics was another.

“You look around this team, there’s so many amazing players on this team,” Rice said. “Their time is up-and-coming now; time for them to get their big payday. So, these guys took care of me when I first came in. Signed a big deal. Five year for whatever amount. I played three years, I made a lot of money, that was one of the reasons I came back here. Guys took care of me.

“I just felt comfortable with the team. You build a rapport with the guys around here in the lockerroom. Guys start to look up to you and depend on you for certain things.”

Rice’s point of view in many ways was counter to that of Golden Tate. Tate left to take more money — and more receiving opportunities — with the Detroit Lions, a move many in the lockerroom understood. The Seahawks made Tate a low offer for his second NFL contract. He opted for the higher one. Unlike Rice, he was yet to receive a significant (by NFL terms) payday. When asked if he was surprised Tate left, he said, “Not really.”

“It’s kind of a shaky situation when you haven’t made as much money as you think you should have made throughout the first couple years,” Rice said. “Golden’s a really good player, has a chance to be great. It’s just part of the process. He felt like he had a better opportunity in Detroit, made a little bit more money with their deal, that’s what he went with.”

It’s fair to wonder how free agent wide receivers would view coming to the Seahawks. As Rice points out, joining the team makes you “a Super Bowl contender off the top.” But, there are also the limitations of the system to consider. Most receivers are like shooters in basketball, without their touches, they can get grumpy.

“It depends on what they’re looking for,” Rice said. “At this point in my career, I’m looking to win more Super Bowls.”

To get that opportunity again, Rice is at the first phase of voluntary workouts which consists of strength and conditioning and rehabilitation only. That lasts two weeks and began Monday.

Rice is hoping to be ready for limited participation in mini-camp (likely mid-June) and to be a full participant in training camp (Camp opened July 25 last season). He also says he has quite a few years left in the league. He can become an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

For now, he’ll keep trying to find a way to fend off those pesky trainers, a group he has become all too familiar with since joining Seattle. He’s played a full season once in three years.

“I’m busting my ass now to get back out there on the field,” Rice said. “Even now, I’m doing the agilities with the guys, lifting and whatnot. But, you want to be in. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Leave a comment Comments → 54
  1. SandpointHawk says:

    Nice article, thanks. This is what I’ve been returning for since the beginning of the blog…

  2. Macabrevity says:

    I just want to say thanks to Todd for not resorting to tabloidism and jumping in on certain stories concerning certain players and their families. Family is untouchable, and I’m just really happy Todd didn’t decide to jump on a very tasteless current non-story that others couldn’t stay away from.

    There have been some criticisms on this blog, but that’s just what we seem to do here. I’m definitely happy with the content Todd has put up to generate discussion, and just as happy with certain omissions.

  3. djbargelt says:

    Nice read on Sidney Todd. Thanks!

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Mac – This is, what I believe, most would like to see more of, content-wise. This was really good. And it’s good to read that Rice is participating in the offseason program.

  5. Southendzone says:

    Good article, very hopeful for a great season from SR.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good article Todd.
    I have a new and better appreciation for Rice after reading this article.

    Thanks.

  7. I don’t expect to read anything more on Wilson’s divorce here either unless it turns out to be football related – as the internet rumor mill is strongly hinting.

  8. vipermandan says:

    My brother has been reading your blog for some time now. It’s articles like this that he would show me and say “this is a really cool blog, good articles plus all the bonus info the readers add.” It’s because of those articles, like this one, I now read your blog every day. Keep up the good work!

  9. yankinta says:

    I respect Rice a lot for being humble and unselfish. Not many players, in fact very Few players sign (taking less money) with the team that cut them.

    I hope he gets back on track and put up big numbers this season and get paid 5-7 Mil next year,,leaving us with 3rd or 4th round compensatory pick.

  10. banosser says:

    Somebody, forward this article to Jared Allen…

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think Todd has it harder here than Eric & Mike had it with regards to player access and finding inside info simply because the SeaHawks are much higher in demand.
    They have been all over the sports channels & internet of late and I would guess that probably moves Todd down the pecking order for player interviews. Especially now that the national media is here like they never have been before.

    Because of that I just don’t think anyone working for this blog can get the amount and kind of player insider info that others had gotten for us in the past.

    Good news is collectively we can get far more SeaHawks info then ever before simply by searching other SeaHawks sites and sources to add to what we can find here.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Vipermandan,

    Agree, Todd sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his writing abilities.

  13. Hammajamma says:

    Next up: Dukeshire profiles the rags to riches story of Todd Dybas.

  14. Excited to have Rice back!

  15. montanamike2 says:

    Good article Todd.
    Rice was over payed to start bringing FA’s here because nobody wanted to play here, after we became contenders and the winning culture was established that’s no longer the case. Lynch was huge and the genius drafting along with good coaching changed our team for years to come. Now Rice is leading by example of “team first” after he got his payday and just wants rings, i hope Okung does that next year. My friend with a Rice jersey was bummed after it looked like he’d never play again, especially for the ‘Hawks, now all is well with him. Rice isn’t targeted much in this run first offense but he made 2-3 spectacular plays per game, game changers. I’m glad he’s back and hope those knees hold up the entire season.

  16. vichawkfan says:

    Nice read Todd. My secretary was down in Vegas a week after SB and met a few players (harmless way I mean), Sidney was the one that she said was the nicest most classy one. I would post a pic of her and him but that wouldn’t be appropriate. Especially since all your jaws would hit the floor. She’s a bit of a knockout.

  17. My jaw would accept the challenge.

  18. Nice post, Todd. I especially appreciate the connection to Golden Tate, which was the first thing I thought when I heard his interview on Brock and Danny. The guys approached their situations from totally different angles.

  19. chuck_easton says:

    I have always considered Rice to be very professional, very team oriented, and a classy guy. This is why I fully expected him to be with the team this season.

    I know STTBM doesn’t want to hear it, but my thoughts even during the season was that Tate would walk for more money and Rice would take a pay cut to stay.

    Again, not blasting Tate here, Slave. He did what he felt he had to do and no hard feelings. But the difference in how each of these two players approached the situation is highly evident.

    Tate wanted the money more than being part of Seattle. Rice, as he openly admits, already got his money and now he just wants to be with THIS organization and go for more rings.

  20. doubledink says:

    Golden is still young and probably hasn’t learned yet that some things are not replaceable with money. You don’t appreciate some things until they are gone, like atmosphere and work culture. I understand why he chose what he did and do not fault him for it. And maybe Detroit has some of that, but Bennett knows from his time in Tampa and it showed at contract time.

  21. doubledink says:

    The choice of cities should have made Golden’s decision easy I would think. It would be like the difference between San Diego and Buffalo. How much is that really worth? But that’s just me.

  22. Sidney needs to have a conversation with Richard Sherman. After hearing Sherman equate money to respect, I have to think–who needs the other more? Do the Seahawks need Sherman or does Sherman need the Seahawks? Would he get the same recognition as the highest paid CB in the league while playing on the Browns? Or do the rings mean more? Revis doesn’t have any rings. Being the highest paid and sacrificing “team” because they had to cut a player to make salary work. Does that make sense? I think the Sherman needs the Seahawks more then they need him. I hope he figures that out. Just ask Brandon Browner and Byron Maxwell about who needs who.

  23. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Trade Sherman now before it’s to late!

  24. I got a lot of love for the way Rice plays, and his attitude. I’m also glad he is playing under a more reasonable contract. The guy is tough, and never gets credit for it. Even this year when he tore out his knee, I’ve read on here several times it wasn’t a contact injury, but he was clearly slammed face, and knee first into the ground.

    Look up the most vicious hits taken by a hawk in the last 3 years, and Rice would be #1. Tate would be a distant second

  25. Southendzone says:

    I’m fine with Tate’s decision, I think some of his maturity showed by his reaction after the fact. Blasting the Hawks offer as ‘laughable’ and taking time to respond to ‘haters’ on his twitter feed.

    It was all business, it was the right decision for him to take the bigger contract. Time will tell if it was the right decision for the Hawks not to offer a big enough contract to keep him. So for Tate to have his feelings hurt and talk about it publicly is a bit much for me.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Trade Sherman: was that sarcasm or genuine?

  27. ChrisHolmes says:

    Good job Todd. Nicely done.

    I, for one, and glad to have Rice back in the fold. 27 years old? Am I the only one who thinks Rice seems more like 31? Probably the injuries.

    He’s a big target, no doubt. But he had trouble least season, from what I saw on the All-22, getting separation down field. The big plays he made were when the offensive line broken down and RW bought time with his athleticism.

    I wouldn’t expect a huge contribution from Rice this year, coming off the ACL. But he’s a big body with big hands, and he’s strong.

  28. MoSeahawk12 says:

    I’m a big fan of Rice for the way he carries himself on and off the field. This guy is a total team guy, classy and hard working. His teammates often mention him when they speak of being a great teammate. Most here see the talent, hard work and toughness. A couple, ok maybe one doesn’t see that in regards to Rice. Rice was pursued by the front office and signed the contract they offered him, as most players do. The fact that he was hurt on the job, doesn’t mean that he didn’t deserve the contract or was “stealing” from the company as I’ve read here. That’s nonsense. The guy was/is very valuable to the team and the growth of all our receivers including Tate.

    I also was/am a fan of Tate. He was one of the first player’s jerseys I bought before he had played three seasons. That’s my personal rule on jerseys. I only buy a jersey from a guy that has been on the team three seasons as I’ve been burned on a few one year wonder types. I saw potential in Tate and he improved every year and provided many uncanny plays. He also drove me crazy.

    Rice and Tate stats and value to the team are much closer than you would think. In Rice’s three years as a Seahawk he has 12 TDs and 67 first downs. Tate in four years has 15 TDs and 94 first downs. Tate has only three more TDs and 27 more first downs, even though he has played an extra year more than Rice.
    Rice played in 33 games in his three years to Tate’s 58 games in four years. Tate has played in 25 more games and yet he only has three more TDs. Rice has a higher per average at 15.2 YPC compared to Tate’s 13.3. Tate also has three fumbles compared to one for Rice. Now Tate has certainly been more durable and brought another nice element to special teams, but outside of durability his stats don’t put him on a higher level than Rice, despite some chatter here. I wish Tate well and hope we don’t miss him this season, but am glad that Rice came back and look forward to his contributions this season. Rice Percy, Baldwin, Kearse and a couple of draft picks to fill in the blanks could be really nice this season. My eighteen cents.

  29. I would trade sherman – IF and ONLY IF we got Hershal Walker type trade – What was it 3-#1’s and like 3 other picks.

  30. The issue I have with Tate (and I realize it is not necessarily a rationale thought) is that Tate really only played for us for two seasons, yet he got paid for 4. Let’s face it, his immaturity nearly turned him into a bust. I know I’d given up on him. I think many coaches would have cut him by season two. But PC hung onto him, patiently waiting for him to grow up and finally he mostly did. Not completely, but enough to become a playmaker.

    So it irritates me to some degree that we lost him after investing so much time and patience in him, but I understand it is a business and as far as professional athletes go, NFL players basically are getting shafted compared to their MLB and NBA peers. FAR less money and yet they sacrifice their bodies and health to a much greater degree.

  31. yankinta says:

    GeorgiaHawk and xcman,, yup yup. I would totally trade Sherman for 3 first round picks… maybe to a team like Vikings or Browns….

    But I would not trade Earl or RW for 10 first round picks….

  32. yankinta says:

    Skavage,, I loved the fact that we lost Tate and will get back 4th round compensatory pick. That’s better than paying that kind of $$ or him being a bust like his first 2 years here…

  33. Tate and the Seahawks made out very well from his FA deal.

    The Lions continue to throw massive resources at their “franchise” QB. That’s why they have 1 playoff win in the last 55 years!

  34. Stats alone do not make a franchise QB – Most of the NFL has not figured that out – which is why guys like Flaaco, Romo, and others – keep getting HUGE contracts with out really being the guy that can lead them to the promised land every year.

  35. HawkfaninMT says:

    http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/2012/04/27/seahawks-select-wisconsin-qb-russell-wilson-in-3rd-rd/

    Just for fun! Some names I remember but are gone.. Some names still around…

    Only one person saying “SMH”

  36. seahawkNJ says:

    Nice pull MT!

  37. If you want the real fun, you should link to the live chat where Wilson was drafted.

  38. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks HawkfaninMT, as painful as that was most of the negative posters have eaten crow at some time or another. But where the hell has Nighthawk (1,2, or 3) gone. He made ACIB look like a piker.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Duke,
    Sarcasm, unless we get three first round picks including this years #1 and JJ Watt.
    Is that too much to ask? Lol.

  40. doubledink says:

    HawkfaninMT, that was a fun reread. Stevo, STTBM and Chuck nailed it. I was driving at the time and thought, What the…? But I had never seen any film on him. I quickly changed my mind on him when I did. One of my workmates was ecstatic with the pick so I watched some film. Not hard to see why. But we all know that now…

  41. chuck_easton says:

    My mistake with the Wilson pick was I was convinced that he should sit for his rookie year and would be ready to take over in 2013.

    I am not a fan of starting a rookie QB.

  42. freedom_X says:

    Rice vs. Tate (attitudes)

    So if Tate is a bum for taking a bigger offer from Detroit at the end of his rookie contract, why is Rice a hero for taking a bigger offer from Seattle, when Rice’s rookie contract was up?

    If Tate is a bum for only having produced for 2 years of his 4 year rookie deal, why is Rice a hero for having produced for only 1 year (maybe 1.5 years) of his rookie deal?

    Why is that, fellow Seahawk fans?

  43. That was a fun read going back to the RW draft pick a few years ago.

  44. Rice didn’t create much “separation” when Favre was throwing to him either. Seriously. Favre was simply good enough to throw to Rice in small windows (that Wilson, it seems, it told/coached not to do).

    I got such a kick out of the “Rice doesn’t create much separation” clowns from the blog these past few years when he never created a whole heck of a lot of “separation” in his “career year” in Minnesota either.

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    How much separation do you really need when you have an incredible catching area that Rice has?

    BTW, Largent was too slow to get any separation much like Rice is because it’s all about how fast a WR is and not how well they run their routes. Lol.

  46. ChrisHolmes says:

    “The Lions continue to throw massive resources at their “franchise” QB. That’s why they have 1 playoff win in the last 55 years!”

    I beg to differ.

    Lions haven’t won because they’ve sucked – bigtime – at the draft. They’ve whiffed on a boatload of picks. And for a lot of those years they had nothing close to a franchise QB. They had guys like Scott Mitchell handing off to Barry Sanders… I still feel sorry, to this day, for Sanders. That FO had no idea how to assemble a team.

    We’re going to be in the same position Detroit is in, in a couple years when Wilson gets paid. We’re going to be like every other franchise-QB team: 8% of our cap is going to be funneled toward one guy. But justifiably; it is, after all, the most important position on the field.

    But if you’re paying a QB 8% of your cap space, then you have to win in the draft. Seattle’s FO, so far, has done that. Lions haven’t.

  47. ChrisHolmes says:

    @BobbyK “Clown”? Really?

    Wow… I thought better of you. I’ll remember that.

  48. But is Matthew Stafford the modern day Scott Mitchell?

  49. GeorgiaHawk says:

    And/or the modern day Jeff George.

  50. ChrisHolmes says:

    I actually thin Stafford is a pretty good young QB.

    But he’s on a bad team. They’ve had no running game to speak of while he’s been there, and no real receiving threats outside of Megatron. And on defense, only their front four has been good. They haven’t had the LB’s and DB’s that we’ve had. Not by a long shot.

  51. MO–Throw out Tate’s rookie year, and Rice’s as well. Compare Tate’s last three years to Rices last three here. Then compare the last two seasons. And remember, Rice got paid almost 7 times what Tate did to be here.

    Rice left his team for a huge contract here. He didnt even try to offer Minny a hometown discount, or even the opp to match. He just bailed for big money. Then he came here and looked lost and lazy and wimpy, then he got hurt. Then he kept getting hurt.

    Rice had one good year. And thats it. Tate has improved every single year, and has shown toughness and durability, two words not even in Rice’s vocabulary.

  52. Chuck–Rice’s situation and Tate’s were in no way similar–youre comparing apples to oranges.

    Tate was coming off a rookie contract where he was overpaid his rookie year, then even, then underpaid drastically the last two years. He made about 1-1.5 million a year if I remember correctly–about 5-6 million total.

    Rice, on the other hand, was in the middle of a LUCRATIVE second contract, and had already made about 24 million dollars IN ADDITION to his rookie contract of four years.

    Not to mention that Tate improved every year for four years, and was performing at a very high level, and had proven durable. Rice was coming off major knee surgery, and had serious injury history of ankle, hip, and concussions, and chronic issues in his knees besides, and performed poorly in two out of his last three years.

    To put them in the same category is laughable.

    Tate had multiple suitors among teams with Playoff hopes. Rice had the Jets after him, with some interest from NO and Jax. Not exactly a hot commodity, Rice had few options outside Seattle and the poor contract they offered him, while Tate had plenty of interest and money offered him, not to mention the chance to really show what he can do.

  53. Rice had already made his pile, in fact more in three years than Tate will have made in his first six plus. And he had little interest–that made taking a poor contract to stay a lot more of a no-brainer than expecting Tate to kiss serious guaranteed money and more than a million a year goodbye just to stay.

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