Fitzgerald Impressed With Rice, Wants To See Him Happy.
Rice has had various injury issues during his four NFL seasons, including hip surgery that sidelined him for the first half of last season, but he also had a standout 2009 (83 receptions, 1,312 yards, eight touchdowns) and would be considered one of the top free agent wide receivers on the market.
Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, who is one of the NFL’s best receivers and is friends with Rice, was asked about Rice’s situation.
“He’s 24 years old, 25 years old. He’s got an unbelievable skill set,” said Fitzgerald, a Minneapolis native who works out in the Twin Cities in the summer. “People up here in Minnesota really love him and appreciate it. I’m just a guy that the team you get drafted by is the team you’re familiar with. They liked you from the beginning and they want to see you have success. I just want to see him happy. I don’t care where he ends up playing, but from every time I talk to him he seems to enjoy his time here in Minnesota.”
Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, who spent Tuesday on the University of Minnesota campus helping Fitzgerald and other players through their workouts, was at these same workouts a couple of years ago when Rice showed up and then went on to have an outstanding season. Carter did not seem too happy last year when Rice did not attend but it turned out the hip injury played a role in him staying away.
Sidney Rice when healthy is one of the most dangerous young receivers in the league. It’s unfortunate that the Vikings decided to play hardball with him as it might end up costing us even more to retain him or even worse, losing him to another team. It’s especially dangerous knowing that a team like the Bears are only a solid wide receiver away from being a true competitor. Simply said, the Vikings need to figure this one out and make Rice a Viking for a long time!