Vikings WR Sidney Rice will not re-sign with Minnesota before testing the free-agent waters, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Rice had a breakout season in 2009, recording 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, but was limited last season by a hip injury. He played in just six games in ’10, totaling 17-280-2 receiving.
With just four years of service, there is a chance the Rice will not become an unrestricted free agent, depending on the wording of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The way we see it
Rice, who turns 25 on Sept. 1, will become one of the top receivers on the market if and when he gets the chance to talk with other teams.
The Vikings are on record as saying that re-signing Rice is a priority. At the NFL Scouting Combine, head coach Leslie Frazier said, "The Vikings have "extended (Rice) a contract and conversation about getting him a contract" in the near future. However, it's unclear if the Vikings have offered him a long-term deal or a one-year tender.
Rice, who is looking for long-term security, especially based on his injury history, likely will be paid for his spectacular season in '09 and his upside, not his injury-plagued '10 campaign.