The Vikings didn’t use the franchise tag or the transition tender on receiver Sidney Rice. They quite possibly will apply a one-year restricted free agency tender, even if the next labor deal (if/when there is one) will wipe out the RFA tenders by setting the limit for unrestricted free agency back to four years.
The goal seems to be signing him for the long haul.
Judd Zulgad of the Minnepolis Star-Tribune reports that the Vikings have made a multi-year offer to Rice.
Coach Leslie Frazier said at the Scouting Combine that he has spoken to Rice and that Rice wants to remain a member of the team.
After two so-so seasons to begin his career, Rice had a breakout season with Brett Favre in 2009. Hip surgery in August kept him out of 10 regular-season games. By the time he returned, the cause was lost.
And Rice’s skills may be wasted moving forward, if the Vikings don’t have a clear answer at quarterback. The powers-that-be seem to be willing to assume the risk that Rice will play like he did in 2009, even without a quarterback like Favre on the roster.