Sidney Rice #18 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts during their NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 13, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - With training camp set to get under way for the Seattle Seahawks on Friday, WR Sidney Rice made the decision to announce his retirement from the NFL.
The decision was first reported by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who cited a history of concussions as the reason Rice elected to retire.
"After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing in the National Football League," Rice said, via a statement.
"I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. 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 last three seasons for the Seahawks after leaving the Minnesota Vikings in free agency following the 2010 season. Rice appeared in 33 games for Seattle over the last three seasons with 97 catches for 1,463 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his career, Rice caught 243 passes for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009.
"The entire organization would like to thank Sidney for his leadership over the past three seasons," general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "His time as a Seahawks player displayed the core values that Pete 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."
Rice suffered a knee injury in October against the St. Louis Rams that led to Rice being placed on injured reserve. He was released by Seattle in a salary cap move and re-signed with the team on a one-year deal.
However, Rice's spot on the Seahawks roster was far from certain. Seattle drafted WR Paul Richardson and WR Kevin Norwood in May to add to the competition at the position. WR Percy Harvin is back healthy and WR Doug Baldwin and WR Jermaine Kearse are proven secondary options.
Since Rice doesn't play special teams, Rice would have likely needed to prove he was one of the top 2-3 receivers on the team in order to make the roster.
The Seahawks now have an open spot on their 90-man roster.
Rice recently invested in Wingstop and opened the first of five franchises in the Seattle area in June. Rice's Wingstop is located at 2505 South 38th Street in Tacoma, with more restaurants set to open this year.