2014 NFL free agency: Sidney Rice meets certain needs for Steelers

Otto Greule Jr

His riddled injury history doesn't help things, but if he's still available after June 1, he would make a good low-risk high-reward prospect for Pittsburgh.

Running through a basic decision tree, free agent wide receiver fits surface needs for the Steelers.

Is he tall? At 6-foot-5, yes.

Is he cheap? Coming off several injuries, it appears he would be, yes.

Hopefully their tree is a bit more advanced than this, but for a team that gave Darrius Heyward-Bey, another marginal receiver with plenty of flaws, a minimum deal, rolling the dice on a non-guaranteed contract with Rice would provide the team some real competition in training camp, and possibly even the regular season.

After his Pro Bowl campaign in 2009, when he had 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, Rice has been mired with injuries as well as some shaky quarterback play. By the time then-rookie Russell Wilson came into his own as a passer, and Rice was healthy, he had 50 catches and 748 yards with seven touchdowns for the Seahawks in 2012. That was sandwiched around two seasons that combined didn't equal those stats, and he has only played more than nine games in one of the last four seasons.

Little risk, high reward. Rice is an outstanding leaper, and his size would give the Steelers something of a big, athletic presence for third downs and in the red zone.

He tore his ACL in 2013, but has since received medical clearance. The Panthers are likely candidates for Rice - a South Carolina product. The Jets and Saints as well as his former team, the Seahawks, have also expressed interest earlier in the offseason.

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