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Vikings Tender Players…For Now

March 3, 2011

When a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, no one knows what that deal will include. But that doesn’t stop people (myself included) from speculating.

Before 2010, teams could place “restricted” free agent tenders on players with three years experience. Under last season’s “uncapped” year, teams could apply the same procedure with players who had accrued up to five seasons.

Not knowing what the future will bring, the Vikings have chosen to go with the rules from last season and have extended tender offers to multiple players.

At the top of the list are wide receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Ray Edwards. Both players received first-round tenders, meaning if they signed with other teams and the Vikings did not match the offer, the Vikings would receive a first-round draft choice in compensation.

Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune report that the one-year tender offers are worth $3.442 million for Rice and $3.5 million for Edwards.

Rice has four seasons under his belt, whereas Edwards has five. A new CBA is likely to void Edwards’ tender but could allow teams to tender players with only four years of experience.

Other players receiving offers were safety Husain Abdullah, offensive lineman Ryan Cook and defensive end Brian Robison. All three players received second-round tenders.

Not knowing if the restricted tender will exist in a new CBA, the Vikings front office is playing it safe in an uncertain year. There are more players — receiver Hank Baskett, defensive tackle Fred Evans, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, and fullback Naufahu Tahi — who have accrued five seasons and could still be tendered on Thursday, but the team is yet to announce the moves.

Unless the deadline is extended, Thursday is the final day to issue tender offers and/or re-sign players to contracts.

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