Bill Barnwell, Grantland.com’s NFL writer, released an interesting list under the headline, “The All-Bad Contracts Team.” Barnwell then broke it down position-by-position, looking for guys who are overpaid for their production or purpose.
And on that list, as one of two wide receivers selected, was Sidney Rice, the Seahawks’ leading receiver in both catches and yards last season. Barnwell’s biggest problem with the contract? What he refers to as “paying for the outlier.”
Here’s how he explains that:
“Rice had an 83-1,312-8 line with Brett Favre at quarterback in 2009, but was otherwise unimpressive or injured during his time in Minnesota. The Seahawks gave him $18 million guaranteed as part of a five-year, $41 million deal to see if he could repeat that 2009 campaign in Seattle, but he was injured for most of 2011 and produced pedestrian numbers in 2012. He has averaged just 49.3 yards per game as a Seahawks wideout. The good news is that most of his remaining contract is tied up in large base salaries, so Seattle can cut him if desired with only a minor bump of dead money.”
Rice had 50 catches for 748 yards and seven touchdowns last season, numbers that don’t rank very high in the NFL. But the Seahawks also attempted the fewest passes in the league last year and ranked 27th in the league in passing yards. Both of those numbers are worth considering when evaluating Rice, at least for last season. It will be interesting to see Rice’s production this season with Russell Wilson more comfortable with the offense and with Percy Harvin (maybe or maybe not) playing this season.