Sidney Rice to Be Shut Down? Wide Receiver's Contract Becoming a Concern

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The reports lately have stated that Sidney Rice could be shut down for the remainder of the 2010 season because the Vikings' playoff situation is near dead.

Then again, Rice's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, claims that he expects the former Pro Bowler to suit up when the Vikings host Green Bay this Sunday.

Rice, who is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, had a tremendous year in 2009, which led to him earning a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl roster.

However, Sidney suffered a hip injury last year, which at the time didn't seem serious. After consulting several physician's, all of them recommended that he undergo surgery.

As we all know by now, Rice ignored the advice, and decided that he would simply rehab his injury in order to be ready for the Vikings' opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Here we are two months later and Sidney is still on the sidelines. While it's likely he could have played on Sunday, Minnesota didn't feel confident in the way he practiced on the Saturday prior.

As I mentioned earlier, the Vikings are nearly out of the playoff race in the NFC, so there's no real need for Rice to come back during the team's final seven games.

In order to get the big contract he will be desiring, Sidney could sit out this season, hoping that the 31 other teams in the NFL will give him a deal based on the way he played in 2009.

Sidney's talent is clear, but will teams be willing to gamble on a player that has only one great year under his belt?

My guess is an absolute yes.

I stated in an article several days ago that I believe Minnesota would have a much better record than they currently do if Sidney were in the lineup.

Brett Favre has often targeted only one or two receiver's during a game, thus allowing the opposing defense to key in on his weapon of choice.

Minnesota Vikings fans have truly missed Sidney, who became a fan a fan-favorite last year because of how big of an impact he made on the Vikings' offense.

With Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, Pat Williams, Chad Greenway and Ray Edwards all stated for free agency Minnesota will have a tough time choosing who to sign and who not to sign.

With that said, Minnesota won't have to worry about Brett, for he is nearly a guarantee to finally retire from the NFL for good.

It was also recently reported that Pat Williams feels as though he can play at a high level for years to come. Minnesota should definitely do what they can to retain his services.

Rice, who just turned 24, still has plenty of gas left in his tank, obviously. He's without a doubt one of the most key factors of the future for the Vikings.

As far as making a run for Vincent Jackson in the offseason, don't bank on it. Minnesota would definitely feel more comfortable with Rice on their roster.

Sidney appears to be a very loyal person, which leads me to believe that he would sign with the Vikings even if another team offered a richer salary.

With that said, money is a huge deal in the NFL today. With the lower payroll's for each team looming, player's are looking to get as rich as they can, as quick as they can.

A quarterback like, say Michael Vick,would warm up to the idea of signing with Minnesota if they knew that they had a 6'4" target to throw to.

Sidney's impact on the field is clear, but there's a strong chance we won't be able to see it for another nine months.

There will definitely be more news and updates coming forward until the Vikings play Green Bay at noon this Sunday.

I, personally, am hoping and praying that I will get to witness one of my favorite player's in the league, today, play for the rest of the year.