Tarvaris-to-Rice doesn't exactly have the same ring as Montana-to-Rice, but that's what Seattle fans could become accustomed too seeing at CenturyLink Field this fall.
In a surprising development, treasured UFA Sidney Rice(notes) spurned former employer Minnesota, despite the Vikings securing Donovan McNabb's services earlier Wednesday, along with sexy St. Louis for an opportunity to rekindle his working relationship with Tarvaris Jackson(notes) in the Great Northwest signing a five-year deal according to Jay Glazer.
Adios WR1 upside, for now.
Akin to the DeAngelo Williams development, Rice's rather unexciting address change diminishes his once vibrant fantasy potential. Yes, the Minnesota castoffs' familiarity with the West Coast offense should make the transition seamless. But the Tarvarisaurus is an insatiable monster that consumes the value of those around him, no matter how talented.
Rice, who exploded onto the scene two years ago reeling in 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight scores, is a complete wideout. He's big, physical and savvy, an excellent scoring threat from short and long distances (Additional propaganda: Read Doug Farrar's superbly detailed scouting report on Rice). The rather bearish secondaries of the NFC West — that could change if the Niners convince Nnamdi Asomugha(notes) to swim across the Bay — aren't intimidating. That combined with the presence of Big Mike Williams, who should help Rice avoid facing double-coverages, are definitely positive takeaways.
Jackson's arm strength isn't an issue, but his inaccuracy underneath and on timing routes are. Keep in mind he's completed just 58.7 percent of his passes over 354 career attempts. Unless the former Brett Farve understudy somehow emulates the Old Gunslinger's memorable 2009, exuding more judiciousness, Rice may only produce mediocre WR3 totals (FF: 65-850-6). And that's far from a guarantee. His 60.5 ADP is sure to inflate over the next few weeks. Superior talent. Unfavorable situation.
Back near the shores of Lake Minnetonka, McNabb, only a Norseman for about three hours, suffers a major blow. Percy Harvin(notes) is a shifty, incredibly talented wideout capable of shouldering the load, but his recurrent migraine problems label him unreliable. If he stays healthy, he's sure to emerge No. 5's weapon of choice, possibly experiencing a career year. However, there are plenty of variables still in play.
If the Vikes don't attempt to coax another long-legged target to replace Rice (Malcom Floyd(notes) anyone?), human cell tower Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) could become the primary red-zone threat in the passing game. It's certainly possible he becomes the Marcedes Lewis(notes) of 2011. Recall two years ago he grabbed 11 TD passes. Under that scenario, someone out of Bernard Berrian(notes), Greg Camrillo, Jaymar Johnson(notes) and rookies Stephen Burton(notes) and Andre Holmes(notes) would have to step to the forefront. Camarillo has definitely shown flashes of developing into a high-volume receiver before. The physically gifted Holmes (6-foot-4, 206-pounds), an undrafted free agent from D-II Hillsdale, is also interesting. Unfortunately, the others, particularly heaping pile of worthlessness Berrian, don't offer much confidence.
Throw in your two cents. Are you disappointed with Rice's chosen destination? What is his '11 ceiling? Floor? Are you moving Harvin up your draft board? Would you rather own Rice or Harvin? What about Shiancoe? Is Camarillo a legit dark-horse? Discuss below.
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