The greatest receiver in NFL history apparently wants back in.
The 55-year-old Jerry Rice says he expressed interest to Raiders head coach Jon Gruden about a potential comeback, and Gruden liked the idea.
The 13-time Pro Bowler appeared on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” this week and said he believes he still has a few miles left in the tank.
“I was joking around with Jon Gruden about this [playing], because I told him, ‘Jon,’ I said, ‘Look I still got about 80 catches in me,'” said Rice. “And he [Gruden] was like, ‘Don’t joke with me cause, you know, we’ll seriously sign you, you know, back to the team.’
“But yeah, you know what? I played it for over 20 years. It’s a whole different game now. It’s more of a passer game now and it’s the ideal situation for wide receivers.”
If anyone might be able to make a comeback to the NFL at age 55, it’s Rice.
The all-time career receiving yards leader was one of a kind in his work habits and longevity.
The 16-year veteran played until he was 42, showing few signs of slowing down.
In fact, in his age 40 season with the Raiders, Rice accumulated an impressive 1,211 yards on 92 receptions.
He retired at the end of the 2004 season with the Seahawks and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Rice holds the all-time NFL records in career receiving yards (22,895), receptions (1,549) and touchdowns (207), and is considered by many to be the greatest player in NFL history.
It’s no surprise that Rice would want to play for Gruden as the two spent the 2001 season together in Oakland.
“I would be on the football field in a heartbeat,” Rice said.
“I wouldn’t even give it a second thought, because, you know, I played it for over 20 years and I still think I played it the right way because I was like a little kid on the football field,” he added. “To be able to impact, you know, so many lives and touch so many people, I think it made everything worthwhile.”
It’s hard to believe anyone would be able to make a successful comeback into the NFL at age 55.
But even if Rice has lost a step or two since his glory days, it’s possible he could play a role in an NFL lineup.
If nothing else, as a Raider he could mentor Amari Cooper and help polish the rising star.
Whether Rice comes back or not, he ignited an internet firestorm with fans hoping for his return.
Give him a shot at training camp. Why not? Give the 🐐 a chance
— F__A (@f_amaral) January 24, 2018
Jerry was always arrogant but he could back it up. I bet he would put produce Dez Bryant.
— Embalmer (@BryanGeorge71) January 25, 2018
But he has plenty of doubters as well.
I wonder if a 5.7 second 40 yard dash and brittle old bones could be effective for a WR in the NFL
— ꂠꁲꋊꂑꈼ꒒ (@ClutchMilroy) January 24, 2018
Anyone who saw Rice play his final year knows this is all tongue in cheek. But he did have great longevity along with talent and ability.
— Dave White (@dawhite670) January 24, 2018
Would you like to see Jerry Rice back between the lines?
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