According to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Seahawks are releasing WR Sidney Rice, per league source. Rice signed a five-year, $41 million contract in July 2011.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 21, 2014
Again, this is hardly a shock. This was a business decision. Rice was due to make $9.7 million in 2014 and releasing him will save $7.3 million in cap space. If the Seahawks are serious about re-signing Golden Tate to an extension, they will need that money.
This is the reality of life in the NFL, and why it is the most brutal league when it comes to player contracts. Whenever a player signs an “extension,” it is important to note one number. Namely, the guaranteed money.
Rice can still play, and at 27 he will most likely get a job in the NFL. However, he has had an injury-plagued career and he will need to accept a more affordable contract if he wants to keep playing. His physical tools are going to be attractive to someone.
The release of Rice will put some pressure on the Seahawks to get the Tate deal done. How those negotiations go will set a tone for how the Seahawks will do business with their young stars in the future.
Thanks for the contribution, Mr. Rice. Hopefully you will land on your feet and hopefully you can stay healthy in the future. Best wishes in your future endeavors.