Rice signs one-year deal with Broncos

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jerry Rice agreed to a one-year deal with Denver on Wednesday and will attempt to finish his career as a backup for the Broncos.

The NFL's all-time leader in catches, yards and touchdowns will be reunited with coach Mike Shanahan, who was his offensive coordinator in San Francisco from 1992 to 1994.

"Mike is a coach who will manage him better than anyone else in the league. Mike views him better than anyone else would. It all just works," said Rice's agent, Jim Steiner.

Details weren't disclosed by the team, but Steiner said the contract was for one year -- and that Rice has no plans to play beyond the 2005-06 season.

Last week, Shanahan said the 42-year-old receiver wouldn't be guaranteed a spot on the roster, meaning he will likely play behind Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie and Darius Watts.

"I told Jerry that I don't know if he's lost a step or two steps, but you're going to come here for one reason and that's to compete with the other guys," Shanahan said. "And if you're one of our top five guys at the end of camp, then you're going to be on our football team. If you're not, I said I'd have one of the toughest jobs in the world."

Playing time has been an issue for Rice, who left Oakland in part because he felt he wasn't being used enough. Steiner said Rice knows he has to earn a roster spot.

"He knows that at this point in his career he can't fight the politics of age," he said.

Rice is the NFL's career leader in receptions with 1,549; total yards with 22,895; and touchdowns receiving with 197.

Warner named starter

Kurt Warner is the Arizona Cardinals' new starting quarterback.

Cardinals coach Dennis Green confirmed Wednesday what had been believed since Warner signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the team in early March. Warner, who will turn 34 next month, has said he expected to start, but Green had stated the former Super Bowl MVP would have to compete with Josh McCown for the job.

Green said he saw enough in early workouts to make his decision. Training camp doesn't start for another two months.

"I think the reason to do it now is that I feel he is the right guy for us, the right guy to lead our team," Green said. "I think across-the-board leadership is going to be crucial for us."

Tampa to host Super Bowl

Tampa was picked Wednesday to host the 2009 Super Bowl in a vote of NFL owners.

Tampa, which most recently hosted the NFL title game in 2001, beat out finalists Atlanta, Houston and Miami. Tampa also hosted Super Bowls in 1984 and 1991.

Next season's Super Bowl will be Feb. 5, 2006, in Detroit, with the 2007 game in Miami, and 2008 in a new stadium being built in Glendale, Ariz.

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