Sidney Rice ultimately seems likely to leave the Vikings via free agency, creating a big wide receiver hole for the team. But it’s not because Minnesota wouldn’t like to keep him.
“I’m sure if we felt any concerns medically that we wouldn’t be discussing extensions with him,” Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman said on espn1500.com Sunday, via Tom Pelissero.
Rice should send Spielman a thank you card, because that’s a nice public medical endorsement to get. Rice and his agent clearly felt he could get a better long-term deal on the open market than the one the Vikings were offering, but it sounds like Rice has a solid starting point to build off for future negotiations.
If Rice is fully healthy, really the only knock on him would be his inconsistent production. He has the skill set to be a No. 1 receiver and topped 1,300 yards in 2009, but hasn’t gained over 400 yards in his other three seasons.