Vikings make contract offer to Sidney Rice

The Minnesota Vikings placed the franchise tag on linebacker Chad Greenway but they have no intention of losing wide receiver Sidney Rice.

Coach Leslie Frazier said that Rice’s surgically repaired hip is not an issue and the team’s confidence in his health was one of the factors in a contract offer that was made to Rice and his agent Drew Rosenhaus. The value and the length of the proposal are not known.

“Our medical staff has assured us that he’s going to be fine and he’s going to be able to play and be productive for years to come and that’s how we’ve approached it," Frazier said this morning at the scouting combine. "That’s one of the reasons that we extended him a contract and conversation about getting him a contract. So, we feel good about Sidney.

“Sidney is an outstanding player, as you guys know. He’s done a great job for us. But we really felt like where Chad is right now in his career and what he’s been able to do and standing on the field and just getting better every single year and what he’s done off the field in our community as well, the whole package -- that was the way to go.

"That doesn’t mean that we don’t want Sidney as a Minnesota Viking, because we do. He is a high, high priority, and I didn’t want him to be sensitive about the fact that it was Chad being franchised instead of Sidney. That does not mean that we’re not going to do right by Sidney, but we couldn’t franchise both of them. We want to get Sidney signed and take care of him, because he’s going to take care of our football team."

Frazier said that Rice has expressed to him that he “wants to be a Viking.” How far that goes with the team’s current quarterback situation, who knows? But the Vikings have been aggressive spenders in free agency in the past and to keep Rice they’ll need to bid big for one of their own to not depart.

He had a huge season in 2009 playing with Brett Favre and certainly there is an element to projecting with Rice, who hasn’t done a lot in his other three seasons.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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