Chiefs FA Target: Sidney Rice

It's been less than 24 hours since the NFL and the players came to peace on a long term labor agreement. With that behind us, the Kansas City Chiefs can get down to free agent business. In a few hours, General Manager Scott Pioli could be positioning himself to add a premier wide receiver.

As part of the new CBA, all four year veterans will technically have their freedom on Tuesday. For any unrestricted free agent that might be available to the highest bidder, they won't be able to officially sign with an NFL club until Friday at 5:00 central. And further they won't even be able to practice in pads until August 4th. But that matters very little to the Chiefs right now.

What does matter is the man Pioli covets the most out of this free agent class, just might fall into his lap. In March, the Chiefs inquired about the price it would take to land Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Sidney Rice. What Kansas City found out was that the player they wanted who had initially been given the transition tag, would cost at least a pair of high draft picks.

This morning, Rice will be set free and I suspect that Pioli will be extremely aggressive in trying to lure the Vikings castoff to Kansas CIty.

Rice has dealt with a plethora of injury issues throughout his four-year career. And its debatable, if he'll ever become a top flight receiver. But the Chiefs just need him to fill a role as a slot receiver and bring competition to the position. In fact with a solid training camp, it's possible he could bump, projected starter Chiefs first round pick Jonathan Baldwin, to a back up role.

Last season the Chiefs relied on Dexter McCluster to fill that slot role in the offense. And for the most part he was a disappointment. A high ankle sprain limited him to roughly ten games and it appears the Chiefs would prefer to keep him fresh for special teams and some limited offensive trickery.

What we know about Rice is that when he's healthy, the young receiver makes plays all over the field. Still it's hard to really predict how good a player he can become in this league because of all the games he's missed during his tenure in Minnesota. Last season he spent most of the time dealing with injuries. But in 2009 thanks to the rocket arm of Brett Favre, he had a breakout year catching 83 passes, scored eight touchdowns and had 1,312 receiving yards.

So why are the Vikings not interested in keeping Rice? Can't answer that question at the moment.

The good news for the Chiefs is that Rice will turn 25 when the season starts. He has four years experience in the NFL and he could be one of the most attractive free agents at his position to hit the market today.

The bad news is that teams such as the New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks appear to be interested in Rice's services as well. That means the Chiefs have to be aggressive this morning if they want to buy his services for the next four years. ?

So if Pioli truly want Rice, he should make him a whopping offer early Tuesday morning. And should that happen, then Chiefs fans will find out rather quickly, how serious Pioli is about adding the four of five key players the Chiefs are going to need to fill in free agency this week to bolster their chances for back-to-back AFC Crowns.

And by signing Sidney Rice this week, that would be a good place to begin that title defense for Kansas City.

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How aggressive should the Chiefs be in regards to Sidney Rice?

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