Vikings make Rice an offer to sign long-term contract

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2011 - 11:40 PM

The Vikings are working toward trying to sign wide receiver Sidney Rice to a long-term contract, according to an NFL source.

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Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice.

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INDIANAPOLIS - The Vikings are working toward trying to sign wide receiver Sidney Rice to a long-term contract, according to an NFL source.

The Vikings had plans to meet with Rice's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, at the NFL Scouting Combine in hopes of making progress. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Friday the team had extended Rice a contract offer and had previous conversations on the matter.

It wasn't clear if the offer was a one-year restricted free-agent deal or a multiyear deal, but an NFL source said the goal is for it to be a long-term contract. Rosenhaus declined to comment when asked about Rice's situation Friday.

The issue is that the clock is potentially ticking on this situation.

The Vikings would be unable to negotiate with Rice after the collective bargaining agreement expires March 3, if the owners lockout the players. It also remains to be seen if Rice will be an unrestricted free agent or restricted under a new CBA.

Rice, a second-round pick by the Vikings in 2007, had a Pro Bowl season in 2009, catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. He was limited to only six games in 2010 after having hip surgery before the season.

Still, Frazier remains confident Rice can rebound. "Without question, we feel that way," he said. "We feel like he'll be productive for years to come and we just want to get the right guy throwing the football to him."

Frazier said he had a "great conversation" with Rice recently and that "he wants to be a Viking and I hope we can get things worked out."

Rice has been in China on a trip.

The Vikings had plans to meet with agents for several of their pending free agents at the combine.

Etc.

• Frazier and linebackers coach Mike Singletary left the scouting combine so they could attend the funeral of their former Bears teammate Dave Duerson on Saturday in Chicago. The 50-year-old Duerson shot himself to death last week at his Florida home.

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