Vikings WR Rice’s Absence A Hip Problem Or A Wallet Issue? Or Both?

I have been wondering for quite some time about the mysterious hip injury that is keeping wide receiver Sidney Rice off the field.

In Judd Zulgad’s recent article about the situation, he goes out of his way so many times to assure readers that he is not suggesting that Rice is faking his injury, that it makes me wonder if, well, Rice is faking his injury.

I won’t go so far as to say that is my official opinion (heck, it isn’t even my unofficial opinion) but there is no doubt that there are two issues at play here.  First, the hip injury, of course.  Second, the fact that last year Rice had the fourth most receiving yards in the NFL and he is set to make only $550,000 this year.

Rice’s 1,312 regular season yards and eight touchdowns should suggest that Rice is due a pay raise.  If that doesn’t convince you, then how about those 184 playoff yards with four touchdowns?

The bottom line is that Rice feels that those numbers should have earned him a new contract and that the Vikings think the fact that he didn’t do squat in his other two NFL seasons means he needs to further prove himself.

The unsettling nature of the Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t help matters at all.

The questions of when Rice will return, how healthy and productive he will be, and how much he’ll be getting paid are all questions that matter plenty to the Vikings 2010 Super Bowl hopes.

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