Rams interested in Sidney Rice?

The St. Louis Rams have some interest in potential free agent wide receiver Sidney Rice, according to one report from Pro Football Weekly. Just 24-years-old, Rice would command plenty of attention if he reaches free agency. That's a big "if" though. 

Rice was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent under the old CBA, where players needed just four years of experience to qualify for UFA. However, a broken labor agreement and the NFL lockout threw a big kin in free agency. First and most obvious: no football; no free agency. An injunction motion filed by players could lift the lockout (the hearing starts Wednesday and could take up to two months), but under that scenario, the league would revert to the six-year qualifications for free agency under the no-cap rules of 2010. 

Rice is a restricted free agent under the 2010 rules. Minnesota tendered him at the first-round level prior to the lockout as a just-in-case move should the league operate under the antitrust rules required by an injunction. Signing Rice would require a team to surrender a first-round draft pick, which is why RFAs almost never get signed by other teams. 

That St. Louis has interest in Rice should come as no surprise. They have shown interest in big ticket receivers in the past. Last year, GM Billy Devaney courted San Diego WR Vincent Jackson during his contract hold out. Jackson, ultimately returned to uniform in San Diego as the Chargers' asking price was just too step for interested teams. 

Jackson came with character question marks; Rice brings an injury history. He did return from a hip injury late last year to average 16.5 yards per reception in Minnesota's directionless offense. If he is healthy, it'd be as good as getting a top flight WR in the draft, maybe better. 

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