Name: Sidney Rice
Age: 24 (4 years in the NFL)
2009 Pro Bowl Representative
Most touchdown receptions in a single playoff game(3)
Sidney Rice is exactly the type of receiver that the Patriots' offense is missing. His physicality and ability to beat defenders in jump ball situations is something that the team hasn't had since releasing Randy Moss. Rice is different to Moss in that he can run more complex routes. His upper body strength allows him to fend off defenders to make difficult catches over the middle of the field.
The two biggest red flags against signing Rice could definitely deter the Patriots. He missed most of last season because of a hip injury which could have lasting effects despite a solid showing in the final five games of last year. The biggest difficulty with Rice is determining whether he is a one season wonder or a legitimate elite receiver.
Rice has only had one successful season in the NFL. It is difficult to evaluate him as a receiver because he never truly had the chance to flourish until Brett Favre arrived in Minnesota. With a fully healthy Favre throwing him passes, Rice broke out in 2009 eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards for the only time in his career.
Nonetheless during that single season Rice showed consistency when fighting off defenders for the football. His physical strength and speed to get downfield would make him a great fit for the Patriots. Rice will command a hefty price tag but could be a star in New England.
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