Back when we first started speculating which of their impending free agents the Minnesota Vikings would use the franchise tag on, a story came out that said that the Vikings would use the franchise tag on LB Chad Greenway and the transition tag on WR Sidney Rice. As it was the final league year, the league's current CBA allowed for teams to be able to use both tags when, in the past, they had only been able to use one.
Now, Pro Football Talk is saying that there's some language that might not allow that to happen.
A league source recently explained to us that the extra transition tag under the rules of the uncapped year may be applied only to a player with six years of service. Rice has only four.
There’s still no guarantee an extra transition tag will be available under the next CBA, or under any rules that are unilaterally applied by the league due to decertification or a declaration or impasse.
In a capped year, teams may use only one franchise tag or one transition tag, but not both.
Now, before we begin to despair, Judd Zulgad of the Star-Tribune makes a good point. . .under the new CBA, it's entirely possible that Sidney Rice won't even be an unrestricted free agent, making the need for any sort of tag at all non-existent. If it turns out that Rice is a restricted free agent rather than an unrestricted one, I'd be willing to wager that they'd automatically tender him at the highest possible level and collect a first-round and third-round pick from anybody that wanted to try to sign him away.
So, the Vikings have used the one tag that they can apparently use, unless they want to tag one of their free agents that has more than six years of service, which I would have my doubts about.