Dan already wrote the blog piece on Sidney Rice headed to Seattle, so no need for me to be longwinded. But just a couple of thoughts…
I wish Sidney the best in Seattle. There was just something about him during the ’09 season that signaled he wasn’t a diva like 80% of wide receivers in the NFL and that was especially refreshing with the antics Randy Moss pulled in the early 2000s. But the fact remains he had 3 bad years out of 4, which were attributed to either poor quarterback play or injury. And what’s funny is he’s following Tarvaris Jackson who was the posterboy for the crummy quarterback situation in Minnesota. If Brett Favre doesn’t show up in ’09 Sidney probably never sees this size of contract.
But going back to the ’09 season much of Sidney’s success that season was due to getting a lot of 1-1 coverage from defensive backs and Favre’s knowledge of how those matchups could be exploited. It was a badass offense. Adrian oftentimes drew as many as 8 in the box, Percy had to be covered in the slot, Shank was nearly always covered by a linebacker, Berrian’s go routes (love or hate the guy) sprinting down the field had to be accounted for and then there was Sidney who was our best wide receiver of them all.
The moment you pay an offensive weapon over $8 million a season (which only Adrian made more of in ’09) that player become a focal point of the offense. Yes, he’ll only be 25 and has a lot football ahead, but defenses will start zoning in on him. He’ll oftentimes now draw double-coverage or at the very least the opposition’s best cornerback. Seattle also doesn’t currently have close to the offensive weapons Minnesota did in ’09. Sidney’s eventually going to have to accept that and step up or else we could be looking at another Nate Burleson or TJ Houshmandzadeh.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Rick Spielman responds to this at his next presser and if a comparable offer was made from the Vikings. Or if we take a stab at Braylon Edwards, Malcom Floyd or (dare we say it) Randy Moss. The next couple of hours though are dedicated to sulking.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig