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Rice to pick Rams or Broncos; return possible
By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
Published September 1, 2007
TAMPA - Simeon Rice has narrowedhis choices to the Rams and Broncos and could decide this weekend.
Rice said he passed a physical Friday in St. Louis and planned to visit the Broncos. The defensive end, 33, was released by the Bucs on July 26 after refusing to take a $2.5-million pay cut from his $7.25-million salary.
He failed his Bucs physical and needed a few weeks to fully recover from shoulder surgery.
"I could've pushed it," Rice said by phone from St. Louis. "But there was no reason to after what happened down there. I'm in a good place. I'm weighing all my options and stuff like that. Making sure all my ducks are in a row.
"It's a real good situation in St. Louis. I liked Denver as well. Their uniforms are off the chain. That's where I'm probably headed next."
Rice said the Bucs have remained in contact with his agent, Tom Condon. Defensive end Patrick Chukwurah has a knee injury and could miss several weeks. Although unlikely, Rice said he wouldn't rule out a return.
"I told my agent if we're going to be in the same situation moneywise, I'll just go back and play in Tampa," Rice said. "It's possible. It all depends. They're still calling."
It's no surprise the Rams would be interested in Rice. Their defensive coordinator is former Saints coach Jim Haslett. Rice has 16 sacks against the Saints, more than any other team.
WARREN HAS SURGERY: Receiver Paris Warren had successful surgery to repair fractures and torn ligaments in his left ankle, said his agent, Derrick Fox. Warren was injured with three minutes left in the Bucs' 31-24 win over the Texans on Thursday after catching the winning touchdown. He had seven catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns, giving him four for the preseason. He was expected to be placed on injured reserve when the team reaches the 53-man player limit by 4 p.m. today.
A-SKEW TRAIN: The Bucs liked what they saw when 26-year-old fullback B.J. Askew took a short pass from quarterback Luke McCown, spun off a tackle and dived into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.
"We took him out right after that play," coach Jon Gruden said. "We'd seen enough."
The play was somewhat reminiscent of another Bucs fullback - Mike Alstott - who is out for the season with a neck injury.
"I really didn't have an opportunity to (touch the ball) in New York," said Askew, the Jets' third-round pick in 2003. "That's all I really need. It's good to come here and get a fresh start and a chance, finally.
"I'm definitely not the traditional fullback. I played halfback in college at Michigan, and they just experimented with me at fullback. Eventually, I started playing there full time. But I was just doing what the coach asked me to do."