2011 NFL Free Agency: 10 Teams Who Will Pursue Sidney Rice
It’s amazing what one season in the NFL does to a player. One year you could be a game away from the Super Bowl, the next you are forced with a decision to either undergo season-ending surgery or learn to deal with it.
Sidney Rice, after a 2009 season where he had over 1,300 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, looks for a new contract in the NFL. Minnesota could certainly re-sign him, but Vikings upper management have yet to make a move. Until they do, let’s take a look at 10 teams Rice could benefit from if he landed in a new NFL city other than Minnesota.
10. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have yet to lack depth at the wide receiver position since the very early stages of Peyton Manning’s career. Nowadays, the Colts have Pierre Garcon who’s not quite playing the role of Reggie Wayne back in the Marvin Harrison days and Austin Collie who’s coming off of a year with consecutive concussions. Blair White was a descent fill in, but if Rice laced them up with Manning, there’d be no stopping the duo.
9. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons had an extremely impressive year going 14-2 this past season. However, other than Roddy White, the passing options for Matty Ice were slim to none. It’s safe to say a Sidney Rice would do wonders for an Atlanta offense that other than White, lacks big-play ability. Jenkins would move to the slot and thus the slogan “White-Rice” would emerge.
8. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions finally got it right when they drafted Calvin Johnson. They finally landed themselves a franchise quarterback just two seasons ago in Matthew Stafford. They now have a halfway descent running game with the emergence of Jahvid Best. The Lions have won more games than they have in years this past season, and it’s in large part because of offensive productivity. If the Lions landed Sidney Rice, there would be no arguing that Calvin and Sidney would be one of the most dynamic duos in all of the NFL.
7. Oakland Raiders
I know the Raiders have a lot on their minds other than the wide receiver position, but let’s not rule out the impossible. After the Randy Moss experiment that lasted just two seasons, the Oakland Raiders have yet to land a big playmaker at the receiver position. Rice would complement a Darius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy and would most likely become Oakland’s top notch receiver if he landed on the Raiders.
6. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona needs to do something about their offense. I don’t think Larry Fitzgerald is going to be too happy if they don’t (A) land a quarterback and (B) build a supporting cast around him on offense. Rice would allow Arizona’s offense to become a force in any play short or long with an excellent route runner in Steve Breaston to complement Fitz and Sidney. If they throw Rice money, it just might happen.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
What happens to the Chiefs when Dwayne Bowe doesn’t catch the ball? They lose. Why? Because only Matt Cassel has Bow to throw to. It’s obvious the Chiefs have focused primarily on their defense the last couple years in the draft, and if they don’t go wide receiver in April, they should definitely give Rice a look at. He’s tall, he’s fast and he can run any route you ask him. Kansas City would be an excellent fit for Sidney.
4. Denver Broncos
After Brandon Marshall left, the Broncos went in a different direction at wide receiver. They went smaller. Brandon Lloyd had a huge year, but that’s because Orton had no one else to toss the ball up to. We all remember the kind of productivity 6’3″ Marshall had in Denver. Granted, Cutler was the one throwing him the ball but imagine a 6’4″ Rice in that offense. He could put Denver back on the map with the right quarterback throwing to him.
3. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have landed a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. Problem is, Bradford had no one to throw to all year. Landing Rice would change the entire dynamic on offense, and even complementing Sidney with a Julio Jones could make for two lethal 6’4″ wide receivers in St. Louis.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The Niners are one quarterback and one wide receiver away from being Super Bowl bound. If they landed a Sidney Rice, Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Rice would make for a trio set for years to come. Davis and Rice would be two of the most athletic weapons to throw to in all of the National Football League.
1. Cleveland Browns
No one needs a Sidney Rice like the Cleveland Browns. The Browns had a ray of hope this season under Mike Holmgren with the success of Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis. Maybe five wins last year is enough to peak Sidney Rice’s interest in signing with the Cleveland Browns. It’s tough to want to go to a team that’s lost for so many years, but the reward for being a reason to a dog pound turn around has yet to be determined. Rice could become legendary in the city of Cleveland if he helped the Browns get back to their winning ways.