Seahawks WR Sidney Rice Announces Retirement From NFL

Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice announced his retirement on Wednesday from the NFL, walking away from the team months after their first Super Bowl win. Rice, 27, was limited to eight games with Seattle last season and nine in 2011 because of injuries that caused him to ponder life after football.

Ultimately, it was the time he spent on the IR last year that ended with Rice announcing his retirement after seven NFL seasons. The big-play wide receiver explained via a press release on the Seahawks website:

“I was just thinking about things I’ve been through in the last few years. I’ve hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. It’s something I’ve always battled through and came back from. But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road.”

Sidney Rice had plenty of time to ponder the future last season while recovering from a knee problem that required surgery. His thoughts led him to open a Wingstop restaurant in Tacoma, Washington three weeks ago. The wide receiver has plans to open four others, one at the Renton Landing, one in Kent, one in Rainier Valley, and the fourth at a to-be-determined site.

Rice explained the foray into food with a smile, telling the Seahawks, “I’m sort of a job creator right now. What got me into the wings? It’s my favorite food. In Minnesota [where I spent my first four years] there was no Wingstop. So me and Adrian Peterson, every time we’d have an away game, we’d hop in the car and try to find a Wingstop. So we always talked about opening one.”

While Sidney Rice is retiring from the NFL, that doesn’t mean he won’t be involved the Seahawks anymore. The wide receiver explained, “I’m going to be around. I love it. [Washington] has grown on me, the people. The best fans you could ever hope for. So I’ll be around as much as possible in the locker room with those guys.”

Plus, Rice has Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin to look up to him. While with Seattle, Rice considered himself the leader of the wide receiver group and mentored Baldwin and Kearse, who both capped their 2013 seasons by scoring touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Rice entered the league as a second-round draft choice by the Vikings in 2007 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2009. Despite all of his accomplishments in the NFL, Sidney Rice added that the most memorable moment was receiving his Super Bowl ring last month.

[Image by scottlum]