Don’t expect Seahawks to sign Sidney Rice

Among the numerous needs the Seattle Seahawks could potentially fill in free agency is a wide receiver that can stretch the field.

ESPN’s John Clayton doesn’t expect that solution to come in the form of Sidney Rice, who despite a hip injury that limited his production last season is considered one of the game’s best young receivers.

Rice, 24, decided he wouldn’t re-sign with the Vikings before testing free agency. When he does, Clayton expects him to be too expensive for the Seahawks.

“If they want Sidney Rice they’re going to have to pay anywhere between eight and $10 million and I just don’t see them doing that; they have other needs,” Clayton said Thursday on the Kevin Calabro Show. “I think it’d be nice to get another receiver but I think they’ve addressed the receiving corps pretty well.

“Financially, they have enough dollars to do it. They’re $39 million under a $120 million cap but the one thing is, going for a wide receiver prevents them pretty much from going for the other positions that I think they need more dramatically.”

Rice’s breakout season came in 2009 when he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. But a hip injury he suffered in the NFC title game required surgery and forced him to miss all of six games in 2010, when he caught 17 passes for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Clayton believes the Seahawks could use a player like Rice, who’s a deep threat despite not having elite speed. But he thinks signing Rice would slow the development of second-year wide receiver Golden Tate, a player Pete Carroll has said the team plans to utilize more in 2011.