Free agent wide receiver Sidney Rice was once viewed as a solid signing for a few teams looking for wide receiver depth, as he is a quality WR3 with the only major knock against him being health. That knock, though, is an incredibly big one, as Rice played in just eight games last season and has missed 25 regular season games over the past four seasons. When he was fully health in 2012, he caught 50 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns for the Seattle Seahawks, and he also averaged 15 yards per reception. In fact, Rice consistently averages about 15 yards per catch, and his playmaking ability and hands make him a very good receiver when he’s at his best. While he’s never blown up like he did when he caught passes from Brett Favre, his 2012 numbers show what he’s capable of when his knee is working fine.
Rice was never expected to have a significant market once the Seahawks unsurprisingly made him a cap casualty, but his market is just about barren at this point in time. ESPN NFL Nation’s David Newton reports that no team other than the Seahawks “remains” interested in signing Rice, so any previous suitors (the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints were the only two that I could find) out of an already limited pool are no longer interested.
At this point, it looks like Rice’s only option is to stick around with the Seahawks, and I think Darrell Bevell would be happy to have him back with Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Russell Wilson, and the rest of the bunch. Again, Rice is a talented wide receiver, but the 27-year-old is completely unreliable due to health issues, which also make him seem older than he really is.
The Carolina Panthers were once viewed as a logical landing spot for Rice, and this nugget from Newton came from a mailbag piece in which a fan asked if the Panthers could go after Rice to add a solid veteran to their depleted wide receiver corps. At this point in time, that isn’t in the cards, but Rice is likely holding out for other interested parties and better money. If he signs with someone other than the Seahawks, then it will be a bit of a surprise.