Rice wants to 'Play the game being retired'

Jerry Rice is coming back to San Francisco to retire as a 49er, Rice said on "The Afternoon Blitz" on SIRIUS NFL Radio. During a segment Tuesday night, Rice and co-host Adam Schein talked about the possibility of Rice signing a ceremonial one-day contract with the 49ers this season, and Rice – one of the greatest 49ers of them all – indicated it's only a matter of ironing out details.

When Schein asked Rice what the plan is for Rice to retire as a 49er, the most prolific receiver in NFL history replied, "We have had talks about what we're going to do this upcoming season and we're just trying to nail down which game. I think I might have said something like maybe the Seattle game (Nov. 19 at Monster Park), but it's not something that's concrete right now. But I think that would be great if we can do that. I played for the Niners. I played for Seattle. I think it would be just awesome for me to retire my jersey on that night."

Rice spent part of one season in Seattle – the last team for which he appeared in a regular-season NFL game – after spending two seasons and part of a third with the Oakland Raiders and 16 seasons in San Francisco, where he set multiple team records and finished as the 49ers' all-time leader in receptions (1,281), receiving yards (19,247), total touchdowns (187) and receiving touchdowns (176).

His final three seasons playing in the AFC West allowed Rice to complete his highlight-filled 20-year career with NFL records for touchdowns (208), receptions (1,549) and receiving yards (22,895) – which rank among the most prominent of the several league records he holds.

Schein later asked Rice if he is going to have a ceremony soon in August where he'll have one of those 49er-for-a-day type press conferences.

"Well, those are the talks that we're having right now," Rice replied. "I would have to sign with the 49ers for a day. The ideal scenario for me would be to sign with them and then take the football field. (laughs) Play the game. Why not? Play the game being retired. Sign with them for a day and just give the fans a big ‘Thank you' for all the support they have given me over the years, all the inspiration to go out there and play my best football."

If Rice does sign a ceremonial one-day contract this year, it will have to be sometime during the next month. NFL teams can afford a ceremonial spot on the bigger training-camp rosters, but not on the 53-man squad of the regular season. All NFL teams must pare down to a 75-man roster by Aug. 29 and the final 53-man roster by Sept. 2.

No details have been announced or finalized, but 49ers officials have indicated that the team wants Rice to retire as a 49er and is working on a fitting tribute to accomplish that goal.

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