The unthinkable has happened for those Viking fans counting on Sidney Rice returning in 2011 and helping Donovan McNabb lead the team to the Super Bowl title they couldn’t get under Brett Favre. According to Jay Glazer, Rice has agreed to terms on a five year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, who incidentally also just signed former Viking QB Tarvaris Jackson to a two-year deal. Rice’s contract, per Adam Schefter, will pay him $44 million with $18.5 million guaranteed.
It was believed that Seattle would not lock Rice up before having him in for a physical, which would happen on Friday by the earliest. Maybe this report means they’re not concerned about Rice’s hip or maybe the deal is tentative and they’re still waiting to check out his hip before agreeing. At any rate free agents can’t officially be signed until Friday so any agreement is technically tentative until then.
Five years and $18.5 million guaranteed sounds like a lot to give a guy with potential physical issues, especially one who’s had only one good season, and that with a Hall of Fame QB throwing him the ball. Will Rice’s hip hold up and will he regain his 2009 form in Seattle with Charlie Whitehurst or T-Jack (or Andrew Luck) running the offense? I’m skeptical on that second point. But Seattle apparently believes he’s the kind of receiver who makes a difference no matter who’s playing quarterback. For their sakes I hope they’re right.
And where does this leave the Vikings? Percy Harvin now becomes the #1 WR, with Bernard Berrian #2. After that it’s anyone’s guess. Greg Camarillo is still in the fold as are Devin Aromashodu and Jaymar Johnson. Someone unexpected is going to have to step up and become a big-time player if the Vikings are going to put together a real receiver corps in 2011.