In the NFL, job security doesn’t really exist, especially for veteran players. Peyton Manning was moved to Denver, Alex Smith to Kansas City, and Steve Smith, who many expected to retire with the Carolina Panthers, was sent off to Baltimore, a move that even surprised him. Granted, both Manning and Smith were coming off of major injuries. It just goes to show you that no matter your star power, nobody is a lock on any roster these days.
Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice finds himself in a bit of a “prove your worth” situation. After the departure of Golden Tate, it was obvious the Seahawks would need to find someone to fill the glaring need for a new receiver. After re-acquiring Rice, it seemed, at first, that he was undoubtedly Tate’s replacement, with Percy Harvin being the number one option. Now reports are coming from Seattle that suggest that not only is Rice’s spot on the depth chart up in the air, his place on the team is far from guaranteed.
There are several factors working against someone like Sidney Rice. One is that the Seahawks went after a couple of new receivers in the draft, selecting Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson. Judging by how well Seattle has been drafting lately, these guys are most likely going to be pretty good. There is a very possible scenario where Doug Baldwin is moved up to the number two option and Paul Richardson fills the third, while Jermaine Kearse continues to be that x-factor he was last year.
Another glaring thing that could hold Rice back is how well he can perform after he recovered from his ACL injury. He is in good health, according to the team trainers, but he does have a history of injuries. If Pete Carroll is going to remain patient with a key offensive weapon battling health issues, it’s going to be Percy Harvin, which makes Rice more or less an expendable figure. Finally, you must factor in that if the Seahawks do decide to cut Rice, they would only lose out on $150,000, the amount he has guaranteed in his renewed contract.
To put things into perspective, this is the most important training camp of Sidney Rice’s career. Some veterans have the luxury of taking plays off, or even opting out of participating in certain drills. But for Rice, he will need to perform as if he is a rookie trying to make the team for the first time. Just another story to keep a close eye on come the start of camp.