Tag:Sidney Rice
Posted on: February 27, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 9:59 pm
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Rice not signing with Vikes to test free agency

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings are clearly interested in keeping Sidney Rice -- and according to Leslie Frazier, they extended a contract offer to the wide receiver recently. However, Frazier didn't exactly specify what kind of deal they threw Rice's way. (For instance, it could have been a one-year RFA deal.)

According to a report from Judd Zulgad of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the offer they sent his way is a multi-year deal. But, according to Rice's agent Drew Rosenhaus, the wideout will not be signing with Minnesota before the March 4 CBA deadline. 

That comes via ESPN's Adam Schefter, who notes that Rice will "test free agency" instead of re-signing with the Vikings. And Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network says Rice will "consider" the Vikings as a landing spot in free agency.

What makes Rice's decision particularly interesting is that he won't necessarily be an unrestricted free agent -- depending on how the labor situation pans out, he could end up as a restricted free agent with four years of accrued service.

If that happens, he might be willing to rethink his position on the Vikings offer.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:43 pm
 

Frazier says Vikes have extended Rice a contract

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Leslie Frazier's in Indy to check out prospective Vikings draft picks, the most important of which is probably whoever might step in to replace Brett Favre at quarterback.

But he also dropped some surprising news during his news conference -- Minnesota has extended a contract offer to wide receiver Sidney Rice.

"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. "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."

Chad Greenway was hit by the Vikings with the franchise tag last week, which opened up the strong likelihood that Rice could become a free agent.

However, Frazier's news is interesting in that it would appear Minnesota actually believes he's healthy enough to produce at the same level he did in 2009, despite some concerns that he wasn't 100 percent healthy even when he returned last year.

Rice would probably love to get paid before the CBA deadline, but it also seems he'll be interested in who's throwing him the ball if he stays in Minnesota. Frazier addressed that as well, pointing out that the Vikes will explore every option available to them -- free agents, veterans and draft picks -- in finding their next signal caller.



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Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Vikings place franchise tag on Greenway

Minnesota has franchise-tagged C. Greenway (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Vikings have announced they will franchise tag LB Chad Greenway, leaving the door open for others to court WR Sidney Rice and possibly sign him away.

Greenway is a good choice for Minnesota. He’s led the team in tackles the past three seasons (this year, he had a career-high 144 stops), and he’s played in 64-straight games. He’s durable and talented, and he’d be a good candidate for a long-term deal.

According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, the Vikings won’t use their transition tag on Rice either, and apparently they believe they can re-sign him on their own. You’ll recall last season that Rice missed 12 games after undergoing hip surgery, and when he returned, he produced pedestrian numbers (17 catches, 280 yards, two touchdowns in six games (five starts)).

[Related: Franchise Tag Tracker]

But it was also pretty obvious that Rice wasn’t happy with his $550,000 salary for 2010, and it’s also clear Minnesota will have to pay him much more in order to keep him.

Of course, it’s not out of the realm of possibility another team swoops in and tries to sign Rice, but that’s the risk the Vikings are willing to take. Instead, they’ll tag Greenway and pay him about $10.2 million for 2011.

"Chad's an important part of our team and his play speaks for itself," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said in a statement, via ESPN 1500. "He's productive and has continued to improve each year he has been in the NFL. He's a leader for us in the locker room and on the field."

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Posted on: January 2, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Brett Favre out for Vikings, leads NFC Inactives

Posted by Will Brinson

Brett Favre is officially out for the Vikings' regular season finale, meaning he's likely played his last game in the NFL, barring an unexpected retirement (which would not be that unexpected I suppose).

In Favre's place, Joe Webb, who looked good last week, will start for the Vikings.

Now, some NFC actives you might want to know about: Chris Ivory, RB, Saints; Robert Meachem, WR, Saints; Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers; Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings;

And the INACTIVES:

Steve Smith, WR, Panthers -- Jimmy Clausen's best weapon is out, which doesn't mean much for Carolina, but is important for Clausen trying to make a case for being a starting candidate next year.

Marques Colston, WR, Saints -- This may not be as big a deal if the Falcons stomp the Panthers as expected.

Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings -- This shouldn't make Webb's job any easier.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants -- As expected.

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Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:55 pm
 

Vikings need to look elsewhere at QB

T. Jackson did not look good in his first start since the end of the 2008 season (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Tarvaris Jackson era got a reboot tonight when Brett Favre’s shoulder didn’t allow him to continue his streak of 297-straight starts.

Conventional wisdom says the Vikings – and interim and maybe future head coach Leslie Frazier – have the opportunity to see what Jackson can accomplish as the starter.

Well, to see if he can improve on his performances the last time he started for Minnesota – from 2006-08, he started 19 games and went 10-9, and for most of his career, he’s been an average quarterback. Maybe slightly better than average.

Obviously, with the way Favre played last season, the Vikings felt like they had to ride him as long as they could. But now that Favre is out – probably for the season and his career – Jackson gets another look-see.

If tonight is any indication, the Vikings – who took a 21-3 pounding from the Giants in Detroit – need to go in another direction.

The Vikings offense was absolutely brutal. RB Adrian Peterson had 14 carries for 26 measly yards. After a quality first quarter from WR Sidney Rice, he disappeared for the rest of the game. And then there was Jackson.

Before I show you the statistics, know this: the Detroit fan base, who spent minutes of its time doing the Wave and who were passionless for either squad, chanted for backup Joe Webb to replace Jackson. Face it, the rookie sixth-round pick couldn’t have done much worse.

Look at the numbers put up by Jackson: 15 for 30 for 118 yards and an interception. What does that tell you?

Late in the first quarter, Jackson took the snap and attempted to hand off to Peterson. The two instead banged knees, and a few minutes later, both hobbled off the field. In reality, there wasn’t much reason for Jackson to return. Even with a shoulder that didn’t allow Favre to throw, perhaps Favre would have been the better choice to start the game anyway.

Because at this point, if you compare the Jackson of tonight to the Jackson of two years ago, he hasn’t improved. In fact, he’s regressed.

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: It's time for Tavaris Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

Brad Childress' departure from the Minnesota Vikings organization certainly doesn't mean that Wednesdays aren't FavreDays still -- and so it's now Leslie Frazier handling the press conference questions of reporters while every network in the world livestreams his answers regardless of what else in the world is happening.

Frazier, who's immensely more enjoyable to listen to for 20 minutes than Chilly, said that there hasn't been a decision made on whether Brett Favre will start Sunday. In fact, he said that a decision probably won't come until Sunday, as the Vikings try to figure out if No. 4 can play. He also said that Favre won't start just to keep his streak alive.

"No, I don't think we approach it that way," Frazier said. "Either he can go or he can't go. And when he goes in there, we're of the expectation that he can play for four quarters. That would be the plan. So we wouldn't go into it, get a start, get a couple reps and get out, no."

So, even though Favre hasn't thrown a ball this week and even though he can't lift his arm very far and even though the Vikings offense went ballistic on the Bills once Tavaris Jackson entered the game on Sunday, Favre still gives Minnesota the "best chance to win." Presumably.

But does he?

The upside of Tavaris is that he's extremely mobile, he has a cannon arm and he's absolutely fresh right now. The downside of Tavaris is that he's inexperienced and he frequently makes terrible, inexcusable mistakes.

This differentiates him from Favre in that, um, he's not experienced. Oh, and that he won't be publicly upset if he can't start his 299th consecutive game.

That is to say, if the Vikings were playing to win, they would start Tavaris over Favre. And, actually, if they're playing to make sure that Favre doesn't get literally killed on Sunday, they'll start Tavaris -- the Giants pass rush isn't just formidable, it's terrifying, and they're going to get their hands on the Vikings quarterback, whoever it is.

If it's someone who's mobile instead of someone who's got unbelievable genes and an Iron Man body gripping his extremities by strings -- not to mention a busted foot and/or feet and/or ankles -- they'll stand a better chance of succeeding against a scary defense.

Look, some of Tavaris' success on Sunday came from two things: having Adrian Peterson and having Sidney Rice. Because they played the Bills, Peterson was able to soften up the defense and make Jackson's job easier. And because Rice is as stud, some of the throws Jackson made went from jump-balls to big gains.

But, hey, that's not so different from Favre being under center anyway.

****
So, this Cardinals quarterback situation is just a total nightmare isn't it? It's terrible for the fans and it's probably worse for Ken Wisenhunt, who absolutely knows that there's nothing he can do in order to improve his team's chances of winning over the next couple of weeks -- either he starts raw rookie John Skelton, or he keeps throwing Derek Anderson to the wolves.

There's a sound argument to be made from the perspective of "Skelton CAN'T be worse than Anderson -- just play him!" But there's also a sound argument to be made for the other side, as well. Because, you know, if you start Skelton and he gets hurt or stinks the joint up, you're wasting money on Anderson on the bench and getting the same result, with the possibility of hurting Skelton's development long term.

In hindsight, the team shouldn't have been so cheap that they weren't willing to pay Marc Bulger as well (we learned recently that Whiz and the Cards wanted to go after Bulger but didn't want to wait for the Rams to release him) and, instead, ended up with two rookies backing up their de facto starter in Anderson.

The moral of the story? You should always sneak into Kurt Warner's and do your best God voice to convince him to rejoin the team regardless of how morally corrupt that is make sure you have reasonably viable options at quarterback.

****
The notion of a "starting running back" is a little outdated in this two-back world we live in, but it still prominently exists. Look no further than the Giants situation where Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have flopped several times as the "starter." Jacobs, who regained the role recently, will continue to start "at this point," according to Tom Coughlin.

The bottom line is that Coughlin's going to keep going with the hot hand, he's going to pound both of these guys with his wide receiver corps banged up, and he'll use the "starter" thing as motivation for both Bradshaw and Jacobs.

And that, right there, is something that deserves a ton of praise -- Coughlin hasn't been scared to make change and motivate these guys in 2010, and that's why the Giants, instead of continually skidding after losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, are tied with the Eagles for the NFC East lead.

****


There's been some clamoring for Tim Tebow in Denver. After all, Josh McDaniels is gone and let's see what we've got, people! Unleash the Tebow!!! (Sorry, got excited there for a second.) This is silly.

Eric Studesville needs to win and he needs to win quickly and he needs to do it in a fashion that shows he can win next year as well (with Kyle Orton and his motley crue of wideouts), if he hopes to have a shot at the Broncos gig in 2011. It seems unlikely that he gets that job anyway, but not less likely than Tebow blossoming into a starting NFL quarterback over the next three weeks. So: upside is you have a guy who's not as good as Orton (yet). Downside: Studesville kills any chance of being a candidate in Denver and simultaneously sinks Tebow's trade value even further for next year.

****
Pants on Fire! (You see, because we examine hot seats)

John Fox: He's gone. His house, according to people I talked to recently, has been on the market for months. The only question is whether or not Frazier and Jason Garrett in Dallas can lose their jobs in the next three weeks to present attractive openings for a new gig.

Mike Singletary: MUnless the Niners rip off a miracle run, he's toast. And he clearly knows that. Why else would he make the flip-flopping of Troy Smith and Alex Smith "week-to-week"?

Jeff Fisher: Seems kind of crazy, but at this point, if you're Fisher, why would you stay? Your crazy old boss clearly prefers a guy like Vince Young to you (the guy who's been there, winning, for 17 years!) and walking out now, even with the Titans struggling mightily, would mean an easy opportunity to land another head coaching job.

Norv Turner: Once upon about two weeks ago, Turner might have had a shot at running the table and making an argument for COY award. Instead, the Chargers came out completely flat against Oakland, at home, as 13.5-point favorites. If the same thing happens (only with a 7.5 line) against KC, Norv better watch out.

Marvin Lewis: He's hanging out in John Fox's billiards room, obviously.

Gary Kubiak: Primetime struggles against Baltimore (at home, on Monday night) could make things awkward for Kubes. Fortunately, that Denver job's open, so he could potentially "leave" Houston for a "homecoming" and just work something out with Texans ownership where they don't fire him. (And then hire Fisher! The drama! The hatred! DO IT!)

Tony Sparano: There are so many coaches getting canned or sitting squarely on the heater that Sparano gets overlooked, but following up a blowout of Oakland with a terrible loss to Cleveland means he has to beat Buffalo and Detroit at home to close out the season at 8-8, as the Fins travel to the Jets and the Pats as well in the next four weeks. Losing one of those has the makings of a canning.

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 9:25 am
 

Vikes, Frazier 'hoping' Favre can play on Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

Even Leslie Frazier's brilliant start with the Minnesota Vikings (2-0! A win against the Bills! And one against the Redskins!) couldn't possibly be derailed by Brett Favre's on- and off-field issues -- when Favre went down, the Vikings went up, shredding through Buffalo with Tavaris Jackson at the helm.

Favre's dealing with another injury (this time a separated shoulder) for the first time in his career, but just because he's hurt every body part he's got at this point doesn't mean you should expect him to sit. Because the Vikings don't.

"He probably won't practice tomorrow, but we'll get a chance to see how he looks on Thursday and just try to make a determination based on that, you know, how things will look for Sunday," Frazier said Tuesday in a radio interview. "But we're all hoping that he'll be healthy enough to play. He's still a great quarterback and if he's able to play it gives us a great chance to win against New York."

Now, Frazier has to say something like that -- unlike Brad Childress, he already seems to grasp that keeping a hold on the Vikings head coaching job is much easier if you please No. 4.

That being said, he and Minnesota won't go so far out of their way that they risk losing a game to please Favre; if he physically can't go, they won't force him on the field just to keep his consecutive games starting streak alive.

Or, at minimum, they'll put him out there against the Giants and let someone on the offensive line "miss" a block in the first quarter that leads to more of what you see above. Seriously: if Favre tries to go against the G-Men's pass rush, they're going to end up killing him. 

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 5:50 pm
 

Hot Routes 12.6.10: box score tidbits Week 13

Posted by Andy Benoit

Hot Routes
  • The Steelers and Ravens both converted four third downs, went 1/2 in the red zone and committed nine penalties Sunday night.
  • Rashard Mendenhall carried the ball 19 times (45 yards) after handling the rock a whopping 36 times the previous week at Buffalo.
  • Anquan Boldin had five catches for 118 yards, seemingly all of them on the game’s final drive.
  • The Saints were just 1/8 on third down against the Bengals. They won because they generated 248 yards on their five biggest plays.
  • Roman Harper led the Saints with 10 tackles, a sack (on the final play) and two tackles for a loss.
  • Jay Cutler was 21/26 for 234 yards and a touchdown against the Lions. Cutler also went “interception-less” for the fifth time this season. On the year, he has a passer rating of 92.8.
  • Earl Bennett is quietly becoming a go-to receiver for the Bears. The possession target had seven catches for 104 yards.
  • Cliff Avril had three sacks for Detroit. That’s seven on the year and six in Avril’s last four games.
  • Troy Smith completed just 10/25 passes against Green Bay. His limitations in reading the field from the pocket were obvious at times.
  • For the second straight week, Tennessee had fewer than 50 plays offensively. They’ve now gone a franchise-record 12 quarters without a touchdown.
  • Dexter McCluster had five carries(11 yards) and two receptions (25 yards) in his first game back from a high ankle sprain. (He also had a fumble.)
  • Turnovers once again doomed Miami. They were minus-three against the Browns.
  • Browns tight end Ben Watson exploded for 100 yards on 10 catches.
  • Sidney Rice looks to be in top form. He had 105 yards and two touchdowns Sunday.
  • The Redskins did not convert once in the red zone against the Giants Sunday. Reason being, they were never in the red zone.
  • Derek Hagan led the Giants with seven receptions. No one else caught more than two passes for New York.
  • Jason Campbell was just 10/16 passing in Oakland’s surprising win at San Diego.
  • The Chargers fell behind early and ran the ball just eight times. The Raiders ran the ball 52 times (for 251 yards).
  • Peyton Manning completed 36/48 for 365 yards on what everyone agreed was one of his worst games as a pro.
  • The Cardinals had three different quarterbacks attempt passes Sunday. All completed 50 percent or fewer of their attempts.
  • Carolina’s Steve Smith had 39 of his 54 yards receiving come on one play. It was Smith’s longest catch of the season.
  • Marshawn Lynch punched in three touchdowns (and had 83 yards rushing) for Seattle.
  • One of Matt Ryan’s two interceptions was a result of the receiver slipping on bad turf. The Falcons turned the ball over for the first time in nearly five games Sunday.
  • Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes had an interceptions and six pass breakups.

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