Broncos News Briefs - Thursday, May 26

As expected, the signing of wide receiver Jerry Rice by the Denver Broncos dominates today's news stories.

Schon: Now serving Rice -
May 25, 2005 - One of the greatest receivers to ever play in the NFL has agreed to a one-year deal with Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos. After a long awaited decision regarding his twenty-one years in the NFL, Wednesday morning Jerry Rice agreed to a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos as the teams' No. 4 wide receiver.

Rice now a Bronco -
May 26, 2005 - The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with free-agent wide receiver Jerry Rice. He reportedly will get a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $765,000 and a $25,000 signing bonus.

Broncos catch Rice looking for work - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
05/26/2005 - Jerry Rice, an NFL legend, is going to have to prove himself all over again. At age 42. The wide receiver - with 1,549 career catches, 208 touchdowns, 20 NFL seasons, 13 Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl championships on his résumé - agreed Wednesday to a one-year deal with the Broncos. His contract calls for him to make $765,000 with a $25,000 signing bonus, an NFL source said. Rice agreed to come to Denver even though coach Mike Shanahan has told him his place on the roster is not guaranteed.

Rice receptive to giving up spotlight - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
05/26/2005 - On the day he agreed to become a Bronco, Jerry Rice was all about fitting in. He said he has no plans to ask veteran wide receiver Rod Smith for jersey No. 80, even though Rice wore that number his first 20 NFL seasons. Rice also doesn't need to be the center of the offense. "I'm not trying to catch 12-14 balls a game," he told the NFL Network on Wednesday. "I'm just trying to contribute." Which is why Broncos coach Mike Shanahan courted him. But Rice's role is yet to be determined. All indications are the top-three receiver jobs - held by Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and Darius Watts - are filled.

Strong will reason for another season - Denver Post - Thomas George
05/26/2005 - His search for comfort and a final NFL resting place ended here beneath the mountains in bright orange hue. Jerry Rice's rummage for one final stop-and-go did not culminate without the soul-searching required of a soon-to-be 43-year-old receiver. "I did not make the decision based on age - I did not give in to that," Rice said via telephone from the Bay Area on Wednesday. He said he took the past few days to consider what the Broncos had told him, that he would not be their No. 1 or No. 2 receiver. He thought about his exits in San Francisco and in Oakland and in Seattle and how each one left him antsy.

Broncos get fossil-fueled experimen - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 26, 2005 - It's an age-old question, one Jerry Rice again is about to help answer: How much is too much in sports? NFL players Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas and O.J. Simpson left no doubt, limping to the career finish line, beaten down by injuries and defenders. Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, Tony Dorsett and Tim Brown were among the NFL stars who did not embarrass themselves in their final seasons in foreign uniforms. Then there is the rare comeback story where an NFL player seemingly shuns Father Time and finds a fountain of youth, such as Marcus Allen, Vinny Testaverde and Ottis Anderson. Rice, at age 42, believes he can join that latter group, to some extent.

By the numbers: Rice is not about to take No. 80 - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 26, 2005 - If the sight of Jerry Rice in a Denver Broncos uniform isn't jarring enough, there is this: He likely will not be wearing No. 80, either. "Jerry wouldn't think of asking Rod Smith for his number," Jim Steiner, Rice's agent, said Wednesday. Smith, entering his 11th season with the Broncos, is the team's all- time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He also is a team captain and has won two Super Bowl rings. It will be the first time Rice will be without the number he made famous the past two decades.

NFL clubs focus on how to share wealth - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
May 26, 2005 - It seems almost fitting that NFL owners gathered this week in this city of filibusters, handshake deals and lobbyists to argue about taxes. And to argue about profits, about the division between the haves and the have-nots, the upper and middle classes. A group of millionaires arguing about the league's $6 billion pie wouldn't seem to be that big a concern, but some owners agree with Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson that a new agreement on how NFL teams share their revenues is the biggest step to the league maintaining its high profile.

Rice catches on with Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
May 26, 2005 - Nate Jackson. Triandos Luke. Jerry Rice. Charlie Adams. Which one of these names does not belong? It seems like an easy SAT question. Rice, of course, is statistically the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. He is the league's career leader in receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdown catches (197). His 207 total touchdowns scored are 32 more than the next man on the list, Emmitt Smith, finished his career with.

Thorburn: Let's hope Rice avoids embarrassing end in Denver - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
May 26, 2005 - The unthinkable has crossed Mike Shanahan's master mind. There is a chance, maybe even a good chance, that he will be the one to finally break the bad news to Jerry Rice. Now that the greatest receiver of all time has decided to sign a one-year contract to continue his career in Denver, Shanahan might have to call Rice into the office this summer and tell him that at the age of 42 he isn't even good enough to make the Broncos' roster.

Jerry, just walk away already - Michael Ventre
May 25, 2005 - The Denver Broncos' offense huddles up. Quarterback Jake Plummer calls a play. Wide receiver Jerry Rice yells, "What?!" Plummer repeats it. "What's that you say?!" Rice asks. Now Plummer leans closer and screams it. Rice repeats it back to him incredulously: "Fourteen hot dogs split wide open on buns?!" Plummer asks an offensive tackle to repeat it close to Jerry's ear. "Oh," Jerry says, nodding. Finally, the Broncos break the huddle. Two teammates help a wheezing Jerry to the line of scrimmage, where he falls asleep. This is a slight exaggeration as to what will transpire now that 94-year-old Jerry Rice, one of the pioneers of the NFL's sepia-toned infancy, has signed up to play another season, this time with the Broncos. But only a slight one. If the crowd noise is loud enough, he might not fall asleep.

Rice Agrees to Terms - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - It's now official -- the NFL's all-time leading receiver will attempt to continue his career in orange and blue. A week of speculation inside and outside the walls of Broncos headquarters ended Wednesday when Jerry Rice told the team that he would play for the club in 2005, agreeing to terms and providing another twist to an eventful offseason that has seen the Broncos acquire four former first-round picks and make perhaps the most talked-about draft selection with the choice of running back Maurice Clarett. But the baggage Rice brings to Denver is far different than that of some of the other offseason arrivals, as he totes a satchel's worth of league records encompassing virtually every major receiving statistic.

A New Target - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - Jake Plummer, accessory to history. The Broncos' quarterback and offensive co-captain of two years boasts a 19-8 regular-season record as the team's starter, holds the team's single-season passing yardage record and matched the one-year franchise touchdown standard. But for numbers and history, the most memorable standard on Plummer's horizon could be one for the newest Bronco, record-smashing wide receiver Jerry Rice. After all, if Rice can manage to nab three touchdown receptions to get to 200 for his career, someone will have to throw him the passes.

Rice: 'I Can Still Play Football' - - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - As Jerry Rice concluded his first nationally televised interview as a member of the Denver Broncos, he wanted to pass along a message to Broncos fans. "To the fans in Denver," Rice said on NFL Network's Total Access Wednesday night, "I know I'm not the player that I used to be, (but) I can still play football. When I come there, I'm going to give it 100 percent and I'm going to try to help that team get back to the Super Bowl."

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