Sidney Rice and His Future as a Minnesota Viking: What Will Happen?

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IJune 22, 2011

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 13:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field prior to playing the New York Giants at Ford Field on December 13, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Part of what is coming out of the bowels of the CBA talks this week is a nifty little rule that affects four-year veteran players.

Ya know, like Sidney Rice.

Basically the deal is, according to Adam Schefter on Twitter: “If and when agreement is reached, all players with four, five and six years of service are expected to be unrestricted free agents.”

So what does this have to do with Sidney Rice’s future in Minnesota?

Well, perhaps everything, and perhaps nothing at all.

On the one side, Rice already told head coach Leslie Frazier that he plans on testing the market, and why not right?

 The guy even turned down an initial long-term deal offered by GM Rick Speilman before the talks began.

But on the other hand, Rice will be one of 500-plus players who will fall under the category of unrestricted free agent, and of that 500-plus, a good portion will in fact be receivers.

The other issue is simply the fact that Rice isn’t likely to land a major deal this summer due to him (Rice) being looked at as an injury liability.

My personal opinion is I don’t think Rice goes anywhere and winds up hammering out a deal with the Vikings. It may not exactly be what he wants, but it will be close to what anyone else would offer based on his overhead liability.

Rice is not devoid of talent, as seen in his stellar 2009 campaign where he hauled in 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns—not to mention four 100-plus yard games—but he is a player who has some lofty ideas about what he can actually get in the free-agent market once it opens up.

Which hasn’t even happened yet.

At some point, Rice is going to realize he is wasting time waiting on baited breath regarding some avenue of exploration towards an unattainable contract, and come back down to earth and really solidify his value and worth by getting back with the program.

Well here’s to hoping, anyway.

If not, it appears the Vikings are not only set to move on without him, but are prepared to go shopping if need be.