Rice meets with Davis
Future Pro Bowl receiver wants to be part of offense
By Steve Corkran
Knight Ridder Newspapers
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Wide receiver Jerry Rice met with Oakland Raiders managing general partner Al Davis on Wednesday to discuss a situation that Rice deems beyond repair.
"I told him that it doesn't look like this is going to work out," Rice said as he exited his late afternoon meeting with Davis. "And then we talked football."
This came well after Rice drew a crowd of media around his locker, there to do more than wish him a happy 42nd birthday.
Rice said he is prepared to move on with his career, though he admits a trade before Tuesday's league deadline is not imminent. He said that he did not ask to be traded during his meeting with Davis and is unsure how this is going to play out. Raiders coach Norv Turner said: "He's expressed to us his wishes, and we'll see what happens."
Rice made it clear that he likes being a Raider but that being a bigger part of the offense means more to him.
"I'm not trying to force anything," Rice said. "But it doesn't make any sense for me to stay here if things keep going the way they've been. It's not up to me. If I did that, I'd be running the team… I; can't force anything. If that were the situation, I'd be getting the ball eight or 10 times per game."
Rice has averaged one catch per game this season. In two of the Raiders' five games, he hasn't caught a pass. The first time -- Sept. 19 against Buffalo -- ended his 274-game streak of catching at least one pass.
Rice said on a Sacramento radio station Tuesday that Turner and then-quarterback Rich Gannon disrespected him by saying they were unaware of his streak being in jeopardy of ending.
Rice also said that he was misled into thinking he would be a bigger part of Oakland's offense this season. Former Raiders receiver Tim Brown said the same thing about himself upon his release Aug. 5.
"If you look at it and say how it came up and how it's turned out, I could see how Jerry would perceive (his being misled) as being accurate," Turner said.
Yet, Turner added, there have been times when Rice has had balls thrown his way with the result being an incomplete pass.
Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins threw only one of his 44 passes toward Rice in Sunday's 35-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The pass was intercepted.
"I know it's frustrating for Jerry," Collins said Wednesday. "His particular situation is a hard one. I know he's not playing as much as he'd like to, but we've all got things we're frustrated about right now. We've all got to keep the team in mind, and I know Jerry will do that. He's the ultimate pro."