MINNEAPOLIS MN - DECEMBER 05: Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings catches a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
It doesn't appear as though the Minnesota Vikings are scared by any of Sidney Rice's potential health issues.
Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN is reporting that the Vikings have extended a contract offer to wide receiver Sidney Rice after declining to use the franchise tag on him.
"Our medical staff has assured us that he's going to be fine and he's going to be able to play and be productive for years to come," Frazier said during a conversation with Twin Cities reporters at the NFL scouting combine.
"That's how we've approached it, and that's one of the reason that we extended him a contract and conversation about getting him a contract. So, we feel good about Sidney."
Given the Vikings' reluctance to sign anyone to multi-year deals until the NFL's labor situation is resolved, it seems likely they offered a one-year tender, with the assumption four-year veterans no longer will be eligible for unrestricted free agency under the next collective-bargaining agreement.
We mentioned this when it came to light that the option for the Vikings to use the franchise tag on Rice wasn't a viable one. My guess is that Pelissero is right and the Vikings would have tendered Rice at the highest possible level, which means that any team that would want to sign him away would have to give up a first-round and third-round draft choice to the Vikings for the privilege of doing so.
In any case, I think I'm getting a bit more confident about Sidney Rice being a Viking in 2011, which is good news for whoever will be playing quarterback for the Vikings when we next see football.