We went over this a few weeks ago when Sidney Rice was first eligible to come off of the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Vikings had three weeks to move Rice to the active roster, or else he would go on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season.
Well, this Saturday is the deadline for such a thing to occur. So, he's going to be out on the field against the Packers this Sunday, right? Yeah, about that. . .not so fast, according to Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad of the Star-Tribune.
The synopsis, via the good folks at RotoWorld:
Rice made the decision not to play in Week 10. The beat writers believe that Rice and agent Drew Rosenhaus won't risk another injury in what is becoming a lost season. Rosenhaus may opt instead to "shop" Rice's 2009 stats in free agency. Per Scoggins, "it would not go over well" if the Vikings responded by using the franchise tag (assuming the option is still available) on Rice in 2011.
Hey, Mr. Rosenhaus, you know what else "doesn't go over well?" Having a client that knew he was injured in late January that neglected to have surgery to fix his problem until the first week of training camp. . .IN EARLY SEPTEMBER. Yeah, you go ahead and try to "shop his 2009 stats" in free agency. That's not going to make teams forget that the guy delayed hip surgery for six or seven months and had a history of injuries prior to this.
And "using the franchise tag" on Sidney Rice? Why in the heck would the Vikings do that? Teams use the franchise tag for one of two reasons. . .either they're going to get something of significant value in trade for the player, or they're willing to pay the price that the franchise tender entails.
To the first point. . .who the heck is going to give up anything of significance for a guy that's had one good year, has an injury history, and hosed his team over by not getting things taken care of sooner? To the second point. . .the franchise price for a wide receiver this past season was $9.521 million. Are you going to pony up that much for Sidney Rice, given the circumstances? Particularly in light of taking care of guys like Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway. . .you know, guys that actually showed up to play in 2010.
For the first two years he was in the league, few people out there pimped Sidney Rice or believed in his physical abilities more than I did, despite his injuries and his inconsistencies. In his third year, he was rewarded as part of the Vikings' magical 2009 offense.
Now? I hate to say this. . .damn near pains me, actually. . .but the guy isn't, and shouldn't be, this team's top priority. He and Drew Rosenhaus should think of that if they can take a moment to stop thinking about themselves. Of course, if they were capable of doing that, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place, would we?