Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 4/18/14
Welcome back, Sidney! In case you missed it, the Seattle Seahawks were in the news yesterday after bringing a fan favorite back to Seattle. Agreeing to a 1 year deal, Sidney Rice is now a member of the Seahawks…again. Seattle had released Rice early in the offseason, saving cap room to make free agency moves. Last season, Rice had 15 catches for 241 yards and 3 touchdowns before tearing his ACL against the Rams on October 28th. This is one of many in a history of injuries for Rice, who has been spectacular when healthy. With the return of Sid the Kid, there are a few questions that need to be answered. Let’s address those questions. Are the Seahawks set at WR now? The Seahawks have a few needs to address this offseason still, including at wide receiver. Yes, the signing of Rice is a good thing for the team, but it doesn’t solidify the receiver corps. The loss of Golden Tate still stings. As replaceable as he is, his playmaking ability will be missed in Seattle. I think we can all agree on that. Consistency, though, is where the Seahawks biggest issue lies and they still need to address that. With Rice and Percy Harvin, both have a history of injuries. You could even throw Doug Baldwin in there, too. When healthy, these three are forces to be reckoned with as we have all seen first hand. But with their combined injury histories, the team has lacked the consistency they have been yearning for. Welcome home, Sid! Jermaine Kearse is still young and coming into his role and is doing a fine job. The rest of the current receivers listed on the roster will fight for practice squad honors and possibly the last main roster spot. The Seahawks will definitely need another receiver or two. How will this affect the Seahawks in the NFL Draft? I don’t think it will affect them at all. As previously mentioned, they still have issues at wide receiver and need to address them. While the Seahawks do still need to draft a receiver, it COULD affect where they draft one now. The needs didn’t change all that much, but their big board definitely could have. Only the front office knows what the board looks like, but I can’t imagine the Seahawks de-valuing receivers in the draft with the signing of Rice. Rice is a big target and uses his size and hands to his advantage while running routes like a true professional. While the Seahawks will likely draft to replicate that, they will also look for speed, youth and a better injury history. There are a lot of options in this year’s draft and the Seahawks may find themselves with a very tough choice at #32 with the WR pool this year. What about Free Agency? Free agency was a good option, but the Seahawks opted to stay out of the free agent market. There are still some solid receivers left out there, but the pool has become a puddle. Top remaining receivers who have yet to sign: Santonio Holmes, Miles Austin, Danario Alexander and Robert Meachem. Unless something happens like it happened with Desean Jackson, the Seahawks will likely avoid free agent receivers. So what DOES this all mean for the Seahawks? Sidney Rice is a great receiver when healthy. If he can rehab and come back healthy as ever, the team becomes a much bigger threat. That’s IF HEALTHY, though. That’s been the issue and the team can’t bank on Rice being the healthy, contributing player he would like to be. At the very least, he brings a veteran presence that we all know the players love in the locker room. He’s a fan favorite and no member of the 12th man can be unhappy about his return. You didn’t exactly leave us, but we still missed you! Welcome home, Sidney Rice!
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