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Seahawks interested in Sidney Rice, Henry Melton, possibly Steve Smith

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Brandon Browner has signed a three-year deal with the Patriots worth a reported $17M. Good for Browner, happy to see he found a home with a competitive team.


The Seahawks are interested in a reunion with recent cap-casualty WR Sidney Rice, reports both Ian Rapoport and Jayson Jenks. They also recently hosted free agent DT Henry Melton, and reportedly called to inquire about recently released WR Steve Smith.

Rice tore his ACL in Week 8 of last season, and had previously struggled (at least partially) due to a previous vaguely defined knee injury. He missed parts of training camp to go to Switzerland to have work done on it, so obviously, the big question in my mind is whether or not he'll be healthy enough to play this year. If he checks out, Rice is a nice possession style receiver with some red-zone capability, and is always reliable to make an absurd diving catch about once a game. Rice had 15 catches for 231 yards in 2013 before going to the IR, and had 50 catches in 2012. His YPC over the past four or five years is hovering around 15.0-15.5, which is actually pretty nice.

With Golden Tate now gone, it might be nice to have a little veteran depth at the wide receiver position, and even if he's lacking the burst he used to have, he's still got a gigantic catch radius and is an excellent blocker in the run game. Further, Rice has played in Seahawks' OC Darrell Bevell's system his whole career. Seattle's passing game is highly-predicated on option routes, which can be difficult to pick up, and they ask their receivers to run routes very specifically and deliberately. I'm not sure a rookie, no matter how talented, could break into the offense immediately without a major learning curve to overcome.

The Hawks are also apparently interested in DT Henry Melton, as they had him in for a visit this week. Melton tore his ACL last season playing on a franchise tag in Chicago, and then was arrested around Christmas at a bar, and his stock took a major hit because of these two factors. Seattle may be giving him the 'hey look at Michael Bennett' pitch in the hopes they can get him here on a discount with the thought he can rehabilitate his value this season. Melton would probably be best served to play in a heavy rotation like Seattle's while his knee slowly returns to full strength.

If signed, the Seahawks would be getting a very good player, on paper. Melton was PFF's #1 defensive tackle in run stop percentage in 2012, and finished fifth in their pass pressure percentage. He's a former college running back and is highly athletic at 6'3, 295. I'd compare him to a rich man's Clinton McDonald - he had 7.0 sacks in 2012 and 6.0 in 2011, and is a disruptive force on the interior.

The Hawks have also reportedly expressed interest in Raiders free agent DT Vance Walker. Justis Mosqueda put together a couple of GIFs of Walker rushing the passer here. Walker is 6'3, 305 and also compares somewhat to Clinton McDonald as a high-motor, athletic defensive tackle. He's a former 7th round pick by the Falcons and has had 3.0 sacks in each of the past two seasons.

Finally, Seattle apparently has called to inquire about recent free agent WR Steve Smith. Smith was in Baltimore meeting with the Ravens last night but it's a situation to monitor.