Sidney Rice Interested In Vikings Return But Will Test Market
The latest update on the Sidney Rice front came from Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who recently told reporters he spoke with the receiver during the brief break from the lockout and that Rice was “enthusiastic” about a possible return to Minnesota but also indicated he wanted to test the market for his services.
If the outcome of the current CBA negotiations is that four- and five-year veterans would qualify for free agency — a topic that Jason La Canfora tackled Thursday — Rice will indeed have that chance.
Frazier has maintained the Vikings want to retain Rice, and NFL.com’s Steve Wyche told fans during a Thursday chat that he believes the team will be competitive in its effort to keep the four-year veteran.
“I know this: The Vikings really, really, really want to re-sign Rice, and I know they’ll be competitive in the market place,” Wyche wrote. “I think they’ll have a limit as to how much they’d spend, though. Rice only has been healthy for one season and that is a concern. Still, they know how good he is and how much they’d be hurting if he left. I think he’s back in Minnesota.”
As Wyche points out, the sticking point for the Vikings will be how much Rice is worth on the open market, a topic that has drawn some skepticism given the receiver’s injury history.
The Vikings absolutely have to do everything in their power to keep Rice a Vikings for years to come. After Rice, the Vikings have a off-injured Harvin, an over paid Bernard Berrien and then a slew of third and fourth receivers that may only make it onto the team because of depth of receivers this team has. Rice and Harvin are both young and need to be on the field with Shianco and Rudolph to ensure timely development of Christian Ponder.