Is Sidney Rice's recovery from hip injury slowed by contract?

An achy hip for Sidney Rice could hurt a little bit more because of the pain the wide receiver feels when it comes to his contract.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Rice opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list with what is believed to be a hip injury. Rice isn’t talking about it and neither are the Vikings.

What complicates the matter, at least somewhat, the injury which apparently happened in the NFC Championship Game (a costlier loss for the Vikings than anyone knew at the time) was not revealed until agent Drew Rosenhaus took to his Twitter account with the news last month.

When will Rice return? Vikings coach Brad Childress was vague on the subject. So vague, per Zulgad, that it’s led to a growing sentiment that Rice’s unhappiness with his contract has led him to take the s-l-o-w road back. He is entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract and will earn a base salary of $550,000 this season.

Rice exploded last season with quarterback Brett Favre, catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. But he was rarely productive in his first two seasons and the Vikings probably would like to see more from him before rewarding him. The club is already paying Bernard Berrian big money at the position.

Rice is in the same awkward position as a lot of players. The CBA has made it difficult for younger players to achieve the longterm security they would like. This will be an interesting one to watch. Imagine the position Rice will be in if Favre doesn’t return. That might complicate his drive for a contract even further.

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