Wide receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Ray Edwards of the Vikings would be unrestricted free agents under the proposed new collective bargaining agreement that was discussed at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday in Rosemont, Ill.
The Vikings were represented by owner Zygi Wilf and team president Mark Wilf as clubs were given details of an agreement that could end the lockout. ESPN reported that a vote on a new CBA would not be taken Tuesday.
Rice, who has been in the NFL for four seasons, and Edwards, a five-year veteran, would have been restricted free agents under the terms of the final year of the old CBA. That agreement expired after the season. It does not come as a surprise that players with four or more years of service would qualify for unrestricted free agency because that was the service time needed to hit the open market before 2010.
The most important thing in ending the lockout will be how the revenue would be split up. According to ESPN, players would receive a 48 percent share of "all revenue," without the $1-billion-plus credit off the top that had been a point of contention in earlier negotiations. Players would receive 48 percent of all revenue and will never dip below a 46.5 percent take of the money, sources told the all-sports network.
Once a deal does get done, a free agency period would start shortly thereafter. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier likely would try to hold some type of minicamp before the team headed to Mankato to start training camp, assuming an agreement is reached in early July.
ESPN reported the new CBA would include a rookie wage scale that is still being worked on and certain types of tags would be retained but are still being discussed. That is important because the Vikings put the franchise tag on linebacker Chad Greenway before the lockout began and likely would be able to retain him on a one-year deal worth about $10 million.
The Vikings would then have time to work on a long-term deal for Greenway during the 2011 season.
Update: Negotiations between players and owners will resume on Wednesday and Thursday in a suburb outside Boston, according to multiple reports. It will be the fourth set of meetings between owners and players in the past month.