Vikings have plan for life without Rice

Posted June 17, 2011 @ 4 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Vikings have made it abundantly clear that bringing back WR Sidney Rice, who might be a free agent this offseason, is one of their top priorities. The goal is to sign Rice to a long-term deal and have him stay much longer in Minnesota. They saw firsthand just how dramatic his presence was in the offense during his breakout season in 2009 and lamented his absence for the first portion of 2010, when the offense struggled badly for a variety of reasons — but Rice not being there was a major one, no doubt. However, Rice also made it clear to head coach Leslie Frazier when they spoke during the brief lifting of the lockout that Rice wants to explore his options. Right now, with the details of the CBA undetermined, the four-year veteran might or might not be free. It's more likely he will be an unrestricted free agent next season or beyond, but the team has looked into alternatives — including WR Plaxico Burress — in case Rice makes a sudden exit once free agency opens.