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Former Vikings receiver Sidney Rice retires from NFL

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Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice has retired from the NFL.

Rice, who has spent the last three seasons with Seattle, issued a statement through the team announcing his retirement from the league Wednesday.

After a seven-year career, Rice has concerns about concussions, an NFL media insider reports.

“I was just thinking about things I’ve been through in the last few years,” Rice said in a press release issued by the Seahawks. “I’ve hit the ground a number of times. I have quite a few injuries. It’s something I’ve always battled through and came back from. But I just figure at this point I have the rest of my life ahead of me and I want to be able to function and do things later down the road.”

Rice was drafted by the Vikings in the second round (44th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft and played his first four seasons with Minnesota before leaving the Vikings as an unrestricted free agent to sign with Seattle on July 29, 2011.

Rice started 31 of the 33 games he played for the Seahawks. In 2012, he started all 16 games and totaled 50 receptions for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.

His 2013 season was cut short by a knee injury after eight games. He still caught 15 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns during the Seahawks Super Bowl season. Check out a slideshow of Rice's career here.

“After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing in the National Football League. I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. I take great pride in knowing I was one of the players signed to help build the foundation of the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl. I'll be joining the 12s in support of the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat. I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities and look forward to establishing myself as a businessman. I will always be a Seahawk!”

Rice's best season as a professional came in 2009 with the Vikings. With Brett Favre leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship, Rice recorded career-highs in receptions (83), yards (1,312) and touchdowns (8) and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

According to Pro Football Talk, Rice wasn't a certainty to make the Seahawks roster this year, but he opened a small chain of chicken-wing restaurants in June.

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