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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, May 26, 2005

Broncos sign Rice to one-year deal

 •  Chang in battle for No. 4 QB for Cardinals

Associated Press

The Greatest Of All Time wants to finish his career as a backup with the Denver Broncos.

Jerry Rice, a 20-year veteran, holds the NFL record for catches (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdown receptions (197).

Elaine Thompson • Associated Press

Jerry Rice, the NFL's career leading receiver, signed a one-year deal yesterday with the Broncos, where he'll compete for a spot as a reserve.

Thus ends the 42-year-old's search for a place to play his 21st season and add to his totals of 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns — all league records.

Earlier in the offseason, his agent, Jim Steiner, sent out a league-wide e-mail notifying teams that the "GOAT" — Greatest Of All Time — was available.

To some, the pitch may have seemed a bit beneath a player of Rice's caliber. To the receiver, though, it made sense.

"What motivates him is, he loves the game, loves being around the guys. He has a passion for playing football, it's what he does and it's who he is," Steiner said. "The more people say he shouldn't do it, that becomes a personal challenge."

Steiner said Rice told him this will be his last season and that he wants to go out at a place where he can win and feel comfortable. That's why the Broncos make sense. Denver coach Mike Shanahan was San Francisco's offensive coordinator from 1992 to 1994.

"This happens to be the right fit with the right coach," Steiner said. "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."

Before Rice signed, he met with Shanahan and the two agreed that Rice would have to compete for his spot — nothing would be handed to him.

Rod Smith, who wears Rice's No. 80, and former University of Hawai'i standout Ashley Lelie are the expected starters. Darius Watts has a good track on the third position. Rice will compete for the remaining spots with unproven youngsters like Triandos Luke, Nate Jackson and Charlie Adams, among others.


Owners approve sale of Vikings for $600M

Instead of introducing its first black majority owner, the NFL unveiled a substitute feel-good story: a son of Holocaust survivors who looked and sounded a bit nervous — and who vowed never to move the Minnesota Vikings.

Meeting in Washington, NFL owners yesterday unanimously approved the $600 million sale of the Vikings to a group led by Zygmunt Wilf, a soft-spoken New Jersey shopping mall magnate who has an enthusiasm for old-time football and the real estate acumen necessary to get a new stadium to replace the Metrodome.

"To me, this is not a matter of economics. This is a matter of passion. I've always been a strong NFC fan," said Wilf, a decades-long supporter of the New York Giants. "We will be in the Minneapolis area forever. Look, I'm not changing that at all. We will do our best to make sure that we get the best venue and right location."

Wilf will purchase the team from Red McCombs, with the closing date expected in June. McCombs has owned the team since 1998.

Tampa selected to host Super Bowl fourth time

The Super Bowl is headed back to Tampa in 2009.

The city was selected to host the NFL title game for the fourth time yesterday, beating out three other finalists — Atlanta, Houston and Miami — vying for the league's showcase event.

In addition to being armed with a proposal officials felt was stronger than packages that landed Super Bowls in 1984, 1991 and 2001, Tampa's bid also got a crucial boost from the family of Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer.

"We could not have done it without the Glazers. We just want to thank them for everything they have done," Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said in Washington, where NFL owners are meeting this week.

"We have a city that is just crazy about sports," Iorio said. "It is a wonderful partnership that we have had with the NFL since 1984."

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


Receiver Hamilton tears ligament in knee

San Francisco 49ers receiver Derrick Hamilton tore a ligament in his left knee during a workout at the club's training complex yesterday at Santa Clara, Calif., possibly sidelining him for the upcoming season.

Hamilton, a third-round draft pick last year out of Clemson, was injured while running a route. He will have surgery next week, coach Mike Nolan said.

"Derrick has worked very hard in the offseason and minicamp to improve, and we hope his recovery allows him to contribute at some point in 2005," Nolan said.

Hamilton didn't catch a pass for the 49ers last season, spending 14 weeks on the club's inactive list before playing sparingly in the final two games. But Nolan and his new coaching staff praised the speedy receiver's offseason work, which put him in competition with P.J. Fleck for a spot as San Francisco's No. 3 receiver.

The 49ers also held more negotiations with Tom Condon, the agent for top draft pick Alex Smith. Smith, who's participating in organized team activities this week, is close to agreement on a contract expected to be worth more than $57 million.