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Updated: July 23rd, 2014 4:23pm
Former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice announces retirement

Former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice announces retirement

by Judd Zulgad
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Sidney Rice was a star for the 2009 Vikings team that went to the NFC championship game but other than that battled injuries for much of his career.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old Rice decided he had enough.

The wide receiver, who missed 31 games in seven seasons, announced Wednesday that he is retiring. Rice spent the past three seasons with Seattle and missed the final eight games of last year after tearing his ACL in Week 8 against St. Louis.

Pro Football Talk reported that Rice's decision came as a result of his history of concussions.

"I was just thinking about things I've been through in the last few years," Rice told the Seahawks website. "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."

A second-round pick of the Vikings in 2007, Rice played a full season only twice (2009 and 2012) in his career.

The 2009 season proved to be a memorable one, thanks in large part to the fact that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre decided Rice would be his go-to-guy. Rice caught a career-high 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. He added 10 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs.

But Rice showed up at training camp the following summer nursing a hip injury he had suffered in the NFC title loss to New Orleans. He finally decided to undergo surgery in August and did not play until November.

He was limited to only six games that season and caught only 17 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. It was Rice's extended absence that resulted in the Vikings making a trade with New England to bring back Randy Moss. Moss did not last a month with the team before being released by coach Brad Childress.

Rice bolted from that Vikings as a free agent after 2010 to sign a five-year, $41 million contract with the Seahawks that included $18 million in guarantees. Allowing Rice to walk away turned out to be a wise move by the Vikings front office.

He was limited to only nine games in his first year with Seattle because of two concussions and a knee problem. Rice was cut by the Seahawks after the team won the Super Bowl last season but re-signed with Seattle on a one-year, $1 million deal.

Rice has gone into the restaurant business and also is doing work in the tech world. 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd