Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Rice agrees to deal with Seattle

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Darrell Bevell, Bernard Berrian, Brett Favre, Darrell Bevell, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson Updated: July 27, 2011 - 7:42 PM

Sidney Rice's days as a Viking are over and that likely means the team will be looking for a No. 1 wide receiver.

After being courted by the Vikings and Seattle the past two days, Rice has agreed to a five-year deal with the Seahawks according to multiple outlets. He can not sign the contract until Friday evening.

Rice's contract is reportedly for $41 million and includes $18.5 million in guarantees. The bidding for his services might have been limited but clearly he cashed in on the guaranteed money.

That was the big question when it came to the Vikings because Rice has only played one full season since entering the NFL as Minnesota's second-round pick in 2007. After appearing in 13 games in each of his first two seasons, Rice put together a Pro Bowl performance playing with Brett Favre in 2009.

Rice, who is 6-foot-4, 202 pounds, caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season and added 10 receptions for 184 yards and four touchdowns in two playoff games. Rice, however, injured his hip in the NFC Championship Game at New Orleans.

He elected to put off surgery, hoping he would recover, but ended up needing a procedure just before the regular season began. Rice missed the first half of last season and was limited to a career-low six regular-season games. He caught only 17 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, missing the final game because of a concussion.

Rice's decision to leave Minnesota does not come as a big surprise. Not only did Seattle likely offer more guaranteed money, but Rice also was unhappy last offseason when the Vikings declined to give him a contract extension. Rice will be reunited with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Seattle.

Jackson agreed to terms with the Seahawks on Tuesday and Bevell was named the team's offensive coordinator this offseason after having the same job in Minnesota for the past five seasons.

The Vikings agreed to a one-year deal with Bears free-agent wide receiver Devin Aromashodu on Tuesday but he is a journeyman player looking for an opportunity and can't be considered a replacement for Rice. With Rice gone, Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin are left as the Vikings' top two wide receivers. Others at the position on the current roster include Emmanuel Arceneaux; Stephen Burton; Greg Camarillo; Juaquin Iglesias; and Jaymar Johnson.

The Vikings have been busy trying to complete a deal for quarterback Donovan McNabb, but now might have to take a long look at the free-agent market to upgrade at receiver.

Plaxico Burress, who has missed the past two seasons while serving a jail sentence, is on the market but ESPN reports he likely will end up with the Giants or Steelers. An NFL source said this summer that the Vikings were not interested in Burress.

The New York Jets already have retained wide receiver Santonio Holmes but Braylon Edwards remains on the market.

 

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