Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us NFL Football Fantasy More Football Leagues

 
  U.S. SPORTS
  pro football
scores
schedules
standings
stats
matchups
stadiums
depth charts
injuries
transactions
players
teams
scoreboards
baseball S
col. football S
pro basketball S
m. college bb S
w. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports
 WORLD SPORT

EVENTS
 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

CENTERS
 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Statitudes
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Cities
 Work in Sports

CNNSI.com GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 Television
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

COMMERCE
 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia
 TeamStore

Rice ends holdout, signs one-year deal

Click here for more on this story
Latest: Thursday September 07, 2000 11:05 PM

  Simeon Rice Simeon Rice, Arizona's designated franchise player, was the last holdout in the NFL. Harry How/Allsport

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Simeon Rice saga ended Thursday when the disgruntled defensive end signed a one-year, $4.25 million tender offer and returned in time to practice with the Arizona Cardinals.

Rice, whose 44 sacks the past four years are more than the combined career total for the present front four of Arizona's defense, should play Sunday night in the Cardinals' home opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

But Cardinals coach Vince Tobin wouldn't say how much.

The Cardinals have asked for a two-week roster exemption, which would allow them to carry 54 players until Rice gets into football shape, and Tobin said the NFL's response would determine how much Rice is used.

"He told me he's been really working out, and I certainly believe him," Tobin said. "Simeon is a guy that has done an awful lot of working out over his career. He loves that type of thing."

Rice has been missed.

The team was forced to field a patchwork defensive line in the season opener because of Rice's holdout and an injury to defensive end Andre Wadsworth. Arizona didn't have a sack in a 21-16 loss to the New York Giants.

Sack Of Rice
Cardinals defensive end Simeon Rice has averaged 11 sacks per season in his four years in the league:
Year  Tack  Ast  Sack 
1996  42  10  12.5 
1997  33  14 
1998  34  10 
1999  38  11  *16.5 
Totals  147  40  44 
*Team record
 
 

Rice made no secret last year about his unhappiness as the Cardinals struggled to a 6-10 record, but he set a team record with 16 1/2 sacks and was positioned to get a big contract as a free agent. Then the Cardinals applied the franchise tag.

The dialogue turned bitter as Rice and his agent, Roosevelt Barnes, tried to get the front office to budge off its tender offer, which is the average of the top five salaries at the position.

At one point, Rice called Phoenix "the armpit of the world."

This time, he explained the comment as part of the bargaining process.

"You know what? Personally, I feel like I am the deodorant," Rice said. "I am the spray. I've got to come in here and bring a little different seasoning to the table. It's all good. It's funny. This is a game, and that's all it is."

 
Raise Your Hand
If Your Sure
"You know what? Personally, I feel like I am the deodorant. I am the spray. I've got to come in here and bring a little different seasoning to the table. It's all good. It's funny. This is a game, and that's all it is."

-- Simeon Rice, embellishing on an earlier comment when he called Phoenix "the armpit of the world" 
 

He said he watched the Cardinals fizzle against the Giants, and decided to accept the situation.

"You can't kick a brick and expect it not to hurt," Rice said. "I mean, the situation is what it is, and there's no getting out of it. I love to do what I do. My heart brought me back -- the passion of playing."

His return was delayed 24 hours when Rice took exception to a scolding he received from general manager Bob Ferguson after reporting Wednesday morning. He took his physical, but then left without signing.

Rice reconsidered overnight, and was back the next morning.

He and Ferguson said it was water under the bridge. Quarterback Jake Plummer, who last fall called Rice a distraction the team could do without, also wanted bygones to be bygones.

Plummer snapped at a reporter who asked about the locker room rift, and said he was glad to have another starter back.

"Last week we didn't have any pressures on the quarterback, so he's a big addition and we're glad to have him out here," Plummer said. "The team now has got to welcome him with open arms."


 
Related information
Stories
Barber, Dayne lead Giants past Cardinals 21-16
Cardinals defensive end agrees to deal, then leaves
Multimedia
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day

Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

© 2003 SportsTicker Enterprises, LP


CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.