Back before the NFL lockout hit last season, the Minnesota Vikings were faced with a choice. . .they had three players that they could justify using their franchise tag on, those players being defensive end Ray Edwards, linebacker Chad Greenway, and wide receiver Sidney Rice. Edwards was never really an option, as he spent the majority of the off-season complaining about being "mistreated" by Minnesota, and subsequently moved on to the Atlanta Falcons, where he spent 2011 in almost total irrelevance. (On an individual level, anyway. . .obviously, the Falcons were a pretty good football team this past season.)
Many folks were surprised when the Vikings chose Greenway over Rice. But Rice's injury history, likely coupled with the way he handled his hip injury after the 2010 season (when he decided to put off surgery until after training camp rather than having it when the issue was discovered) led the Vikings to that decision. In the end, it appears that the Vikings made the right decision, as it was reported a few days ago that Rice needed to have surgery on both shoulders after the 2011 season came to its conclusion.
To emphasize that the Vikings may have gotten it right on Rice. . .at least so far. . .let me compare the stats between two wide receivers.
One of those wide receivers is Sidney Rice, who signed a five-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks for $41 million, $18 million of which is guaranteed. The deal included a $6 million signing bonus.
One of those wide receivers is Michael Jenkins, who signed a three-year contract with the Vikings for $9 million (yes, total). Not sure how much of Jenkins' contract is guaranteed, but he got a $2 million signing bonus.
Can you tell the difference? I can't.