Skip to comments.Rice ends matchless career as a 49er
Posted on 08/24/2006 1:43:52 PM PDT by 300magnum
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Jerry Rice signed a one-day contract to retire with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, officially ending the receiver's matchless career back where it began.
Rice, who played the first 16 of his 20 NFL seasons with San Francisco, shed no tears during a short signing ceremony at the 49ers' training complex. The receiver wore his ring from the 49ers' 1989 Super Bowl championship team on a chain around his neck as he hugged his wife, Jackie, and shook hands with San Francisco owner John York.
"I would like to put the uniform on and run on that football field, but I think it's time to move on," Rice said, gesturing toward the practice fields behind him. "I feel welcome here. I feel like this is my home, and this is something I'll never forget."
Rice, who will turn 44 in October, hasn't played since leaving the Broncos' training camp before last season, holding his first retirement news conference last September in Denver. He spent three seasons in Oakland after leaving the 49ers, then played a final year with the Seattle Seahawks.
But San Francisco fans still remember Rice in his incredible prime, when he made most of his 197 touchdown receptions while playing for several powerhouse teams and three Super Bowl winners. Rice holds NFL records with 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards, and also holds the top single-season marks of 1,848 yards and 22 touchdowns.
"This is where I got my start," Rice said. "This is where my legacy is at. This is where my heart got started, and this is where I'm going to end it."
The 49ers will honor Rice again during a game against the Seahawks on Nov. 19 at Candlestick Park, and his No. 80 is expected to be retired in the near future. Rice joked that he might have waited even longer for this ceremony, but Bill Walsh, his former coach, encouraged him to get going.
"He wants to introduce me into the Hall, and he said he's going to pass away," Rice said.
He was (and is) a class act.
b.o. I mean t.o. could learn a thing about class from this guy.(So.Philly EAGLES Fan)
NFL ping. Too bad they can't ask Rice back, then maybe the 49ers would win more than three games.
Hah! Love that picture and still remember the catch. Record breaker for TD receptions and came in a game in which the 49ers destroyed the Raiders. Used to be fun to be a 49ers season ticket holder back then, before John York and his wife stole the team from Eddie D and destroyed it.
And he would rank #1 all-time in receiving yards even if he had retired 11 years ago.
That's all well and good, but I prefer her as a National Security Advisor.
Her career as a 49er was limited. Although she had the hands, the height and the reach she could not take a hit from a 245 pound linebacker.
Hey pal, you try taking a hit from a 245 lb. linebacker while wearing a strapless gown and pearl earrings.......
I was wondering where York came from. WTF, Eddie made a ring machine out of that team and the sister screwed the pooch. What are York's stats?
In a lot of the records he holds if you add the #2 and #3 guy they'd still be behind Jerry. Truly an amazing talent, unlikely to be replaced in our lifetime.
Ah...memories of the golden age of the NFL (IMHO)
"NFL ping. Too bad they can't ask Rice back, then maybe the 49ers would win more than three games."
Hey! They won 4 last year! :^)
He had (has) an outstanding work ethic. Never shot his mouth off. Kept his grandstanding to a minimum (would show emotion but I don't recall him dancing or taunting after a TD catch). I remember in '84 at first he didn't impress all that much but it didn't take him long to show his mettle. I am very glad he is retiring as a 49er. He is one of the true greats of the game.
They could have been worse.
Ask a Saints fan. :-P
Right. And if it weren't for the NFL's idiotic salary cap rules, he could have played his entire career on the 49ers and retired as a 49er without going through this silly "sign a contract for one day" retirement charade.
Jerry Rice is quite likely the best of a generation, without doubt.
He was no Max McGee!!!
Long live #85.
Or if the Niners had handled the cap intelligently. Defered salary sure seemed like a good idea early in the cap era, but it came back and bit every team that used it, and is still biting the Niners because they used it again while they were climbing out of the cap hell they got in the first time.
There was something a fews years back about him holding out and not showing up for training camp. Turned out his wife was in the hospital and he refused to leave.
That's when I decided he was a class act.
Concert pianist, pro football receiver, University provost, and SecState. Buckaroo Banzai: The Sequel.
I like Don Hutson.
No matter how hard they try, every team eventually reaches the point where the salary cap precludes them from keeping their star players. That's why it's so rare to find players spending their entire careers with one team anymore.
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