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Vikings To Use Franchise Tag On Chad Greenway?

That's what Grandpa Sports is saying, in any event.

I'm not one to question folks like Sid Hartman, largely because they have a much greater connection to the Vikings than I do, but this will come as a mild surprise if it actually happens. From watching both Greenway and Sidney Rice (who many of us thought was getting the tag) over the past couple of years, I would have simply assumed that Rice would have gotten tagged because it would be easier to sign Greenway to something long-term.

According to Sid, Greenway's salaries over the past five seasons have looked something like this:

2006 - $1.3 million
2007 - $5.4 million (because this is when his signing bonus kicked in)
2008 - $1.7 million
2009 - $1 million
2010 - $1.3 million

With the franchise tag, that number for 2011 will be somewhere in the $9 million range.

Sid also points out that it's quite likely that Ben Leber won't be back, either, and the Vikings may figure that they can't try to replace both of them. I think the Vikings have enough depth at linebacker with guys like Erin Henderson to replace one starting linebacker in-house, but I don't think they could pull off two.

Now that Sidney Rice isn't being tagged, you have to sort of wonder whether or not a wide receiver like Julio Jones could potentially be an option for the Vikings at #12. When you think about it, there really aren't any wide receivers that the Vikings can truly depend on that are part of the roster right now. There's Rice with his contract status and injury woes, Percy Harvin has the issues with his migraines, Bernard Berrian is. . .well, he's Bernard Berrian.

Heck, even if the Vikings were to re-sign Sidney Rice to a long-term deal. . .the thought of a top 3 WR group comprised of Rice, Harvin, and Jones is intriguing in any case. It might not be "Three Deep" right away or anything, but the potential would certainly be there. And if you're breaking in a young quarterback, whether it's Joe Webb or a rookie or whoever, it's always nice to have an array of playmaking wide receivers for them to throw to.