According to the Pioneer Press this morning, it is reported that two NFL officials have said that Vikings receiver Sidney Rice is likely to receive the Vikings Transition Tag later this month with linebacker Chad Greenway being the likely recipient of the franchise tag.
This move comes as no surprise, as Greenway remains a pro bowl quality player and the Vikings will likely want to focus all their assets in terms of a long term deal for all-pro running back Adrian Peterson whom is entering a contract year.
Sidney Rice had a stellar 2009 season, breaking out for 1312 yards and 8 touchdown receptions. The 24-year old has shown signs of brilliance throughout his career, but the big issue has been his health and keeping himself away from injuries.
A second round (44th overall) pick out of South Carolina, Rice has since sharpened his game by utilizing his 6'4" frame. Since the 2008 offseason, Rice began working with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and it has since changed his game and effectiveness.
However, like prior seasons, Rice lost time in 2010 by having hip surgery prior to the season and ended up missing ten games. As a result, we now find ourselves questioning Rice's true value. The transition tag allows the Vikings a chance to evaluate Rice over a single season to find his true worth and to wrap him up long term. It has become evident that the Vikings wish to keep Rice and it will be truly interesting what they decide to do going forward.
With a transition tag, Rice would be due the average of the top-10 salaries in the league, which was $8.65 million in 2010.
Greenway has been solid ever since being drafted in 2006 in first round at 17th overall. His numbers over the years have been nothing short of spectacular, yet he has yet to be selected to his first Pro Bowl. He had seven sacks, seven forced fumbles, five interceptions, has averaged around 100 tackles a season with 109 solo tackles this past season alone, and 145 with assisted tackles.Since tearing his ACL in the preseason of his rookie season, he's played in 64 games since.
The Franchise tag, as stated earlier, would simply be a means to get Adrian Peterson into a long term deal and keep Greenway in Minnesota. As could be imagined, Greenway will likely not argue having a high pay in 2011. If 2010 is any indicator, Greenway could be due somewhere around $9.68 million.
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