Trade speculation started last week

Updated: October 13, 2004, 8:27 AM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jerry Rice believes he could be traded by the Oakland Raiders before the Oct. 19 deadline.

Jerry Rice
Wide Receiver
Oakland Raiders
Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC
5 67 0 13.4 18 4

Rice, who turns 42 Wednesday, told Sacramento radio station KHTK on Tuesday that his days with Oakland may be numbered, and that he wants to play for a team that will better utilize his talents.

Speculation surfaced last week about a possible swap with the Detroit Lions.

"When rumors get started like that, something is going on," Rice said. "I don't know how much longer I'll be wearing the silver and black. The thing is, I know wherever I go, that that team will get something special because I'll give them 100 percent and I'll make plays on the football field to help that team win."

Michael Lombardi, the Raiders' senior personnel executive, said Tuesday that the Detroit story "was not remotely accurate."

A call to Rice's agent, Jim Steiner, was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Rice's role with the Raiders has been greatly diminished this season. Through five games, the NFL's career leader in catches and touchdowns has five receptions for 67 yards and no touchdowns -- his receptions are tied for eighth on the team.

Rice has shown his frustration several times already, and admitted last week that the limited role is affecting him.

His NFL record streak of 274 straight games with a catch ended in the second game of the season, a 13-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Two Sundays ago in Houston, Rice didn't make a catch until hauling in an 18-yard pass from Kerry Collins with 2:33 left on a square-in route.

By the time Rice made his catch, Collins had completed 20 passes to nine other receivers.

"I can't go out this way," Rice said Tuesday. "If some things had been explained to me before the season started, then maybe the situation would be different now. I want to come back, I want to play next year, and I want to go out the right way. I don't know if I'll be in a Raiders uniform, but I'll be somewhere on the field doing my thing. ... From what I was told, I'd be a significant part and I'd have opportunities and I'd make plays. This is a business, man, and you never know.

Rice is in his 20th NFL season, fourth with the Raiders.

"The situation right now, it doesn't look good, and you know something is in the works," he said. "I hope both parties can move on and be happy about the situation. I just want to play football, I want to enjoy myself and contribute."

Coach Norv Turner was asked about Rice again during his Monday media session, and reiterated that many receivers will play significant roles this season.

"He didn't have as many snaps yesterday as he had in the earlier games," Turner said. "We've had situations where he's been open and the ball's been thrown to someone else, and again, it's a different offense, a different style of offense. We have a lot of new people playing. It's hard to give you one reason he hasn't been as involved as he's been in the past."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press