Last week the Minnesota Vikings placed the franchise tag on LB Chad Greenway, which didn't cause a huge ripple in the NFL news stream. However, that move put in motion the possibility that WR Sidney Rice, who is entering 2011 without a contract, would test free agency.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, agent Drew Rosenhaus has confirmed Rice will indeed test free agency before signing a contract with the Vikings. (Of course, this is all contingent on a new CBA getting done and actually having a free agency period.)
Still, after a few days in which we heard that progress was being made in talks between Rice and the team, this is a mild disappointment. I'm not sure if anyone actually expected Sidney to re-sign with Minnesota before March 3 anyway, but would have been nice.
That puts Rice among a free agent class of receivers that may contain names like WR Santonio Holmes and WR Braylon Edwards. He's young (24) and productive scoring a Pro Bowl nod in 2009, his third year in the league. He was out most of 2010 with a hip injury but, if he's healthy again, he'll be an attractive commodity on the open market.
Peter King of SI.com thinks this already means Rice won't be back in Minnesota next year. We're not ready to declare that but it certainly seems less and less likely that will be the case.
Check out SB Nation's Daily Norseman for more reaction from Vikings fans.