The Vikings have a very underrated receiving corp, but if Sidney Rice leaves via Free Agency, things could look grim for Minnesota.
Rice had a breakout year in 2009 and is looking to "test Free Agency" once the new CBA is agreed upon, and he'll most likely be an unrestricted free agent. Personally, I do not see him staying. I want him to, but someone will overpay for him (much like another receiver already on the roster).
Bernard Berrian was signed in 2008 during Free Agency to an extremely generous contract. He produced well in 2008, parts of 2009 and then fell off the map in 2010. Hardly worth the money he was paid.
But if Sidney Rice does depart, do not look for Berrian to be released. Instead, look for him to capitalize. Berrian has all the tools to be a terrific deep-threat receiver, and Leslie Frazier said he had a "good talk" with Bernard before the lockout. The Vikings could look to restructure his contract.
Percy Harvin has proven to be a difference maker for the Minnesota Vikings. Much like Randy Moss in the 1998 NFL Draft, Harvin slid to the Vikings because of character concerns in 2009.
Other than the occasional migraines, Harvin has become a stellar possession receiver who will go over the middle. He also shows the ability to perform out of the "Wild-Cat" and is even a Pro Bowl Kick Returner. Folks, Harvin will have a stellar 2011 season, no matter who is at quarterback.
Finally, we come to our last starting wide receiver...Randy Moss. That's right, I think Moss will be signed by the Vikings this offseason.
It's true, Moss had a very poor 2010 season, but he still has enough gas left in the tank. Much like Rice, Moss is a scary red-zone threat (even at age 33). The 6'4" freak had seven incredible seasons for the Minnesota Vikings from 1998-2004, and during his brief return in 2010 connected instantly with young stud Percy Harvin.
Moss indicated he would "welcome a return" to Minnesota if the situation is right. Well Randy, it is. Return to the Vikings where your career began and help a WR needy Vikings team while mentoring young up and coming stars. Moss would come cheaper than Rice and is also a fan favorite.
1. Bernard Berrian, WR (outside) Minnesota Vikings - restructured contract
2011 Salary $1.95 million
2. Percy Harvin, WR (slot) Minnesota Vikings
2011 Salary: $2.2 million
3. Randy Moss, WR (outside) Minnesota Vikings - signed to 3 year, $12 million deal in 2011
2011 Salary: $3.75 million