There is actual sort-of news to report this afternoon on the status of Sidney Rice. This news comes straight from the mouth of coach Leslie Frazier, who this morning said the Vikings have extended a contract offer to Rice and are involved in “on-going” negotiations with the player.
Rice’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has refused to confirm the contract offer. Speculation is that the offer is a restricted free agent tender, which would entitle the Vikings to draft pick compensation in the event Rice receives an offer sheet from another team and they elect not to match. The usual “the new CBA could nullify all tenders, tags, etc.,” caveat must now be applied.
As to the question of whether there’s any acrimony lingering from last off-season’s hip surgery drama, here’s what Leslie Frazier said of Rice: “We want to get Sidney signed and take care of him.”
“Take care of him” could be a reference to the arthritic condition Rice is reportedly suffering in the same hip he had surgery on. Injury concern is the main factor listed when people debate whether Rice is worthy of the lucrative long-term contract he seems to think he deserves.
Frazier, for his part, indicated that he is not concerned about Rice’s health. “Our medical staff has assured us that he’s going to be fine and he’s going to be able to play and be productive for years to come,” Frazier said.
The Vikings may say they think Rice will be fine for years to come, but they still have to be leery of giving him a long-term deal. If they lose Rice however, they face the prospect of going into a new offensive era without a legitimate deep receiver. Unless they want to give Randy Moss another go. Which they do not.