Simeon Rice has been on the comeback trail since the scouting combine and is still seeking a team to, well, make his comeback official.
Profootballtalk.com unearthed a radio interview Rice did last week with WQYK-1010 AM in Tampa where the former Illinois star mentioned the Bears as one the possibilities for his services.
"I'm going to play this year,'' said Rice, who has 122 career sacks. "I've got about two weeks. I have a chip that is so big on my shoulder it couldn't even get inside the building I left it by the car.
"I called my boy Raheem [Morris, the Bucs coach] up. This is the place I want to play. I've got the Bears, I've got other other teams that are talking to me, but I want to finish out with the team I love. I love Tampa Bay. I love being a Buccaneer. It's not a money situation. It aint the money. My motivation is going out there on top, going out there and claiming my crown back and saying, `OK, I reign supreme. That's my love jones.''
It's a good thing Rice has identified Tampa Bay as the place he wants to be because we don't see an opening for him with the Bears, not after they used a fourth-round draft pick on Texas' Henry Melton. He will be the fifth end with Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije. If Rice has anything left at 35--that's an if--he's got one year remaining. That would give the Bears four, count 'em, ends with one year left including Ogunleye, Anderson and Idonije.
Rice very well may be talking with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who coached him in Tampa Bay when his career took off as one of the dominant pass rushers of his era, but the Bears are intent on developing Anderson and Melton and an aging veteran who has not played since 2007 when a shoulder injury did him in.
Rice hit the radio circuit in Chicago before free agency and has not been able to drum up enough interest to land a gig yet. He said on WQYK that he would likely have something in place in the next two weeks. Rice claims he's fully healthy and is running the 40-yard dash in the 4.5's again and is doing 360's on the basketball court. That's great but can he, you know, jump out of a swimming pool standing up? That might get the Bears' attention.
"Right now, if I was to put on a helmet, I'm automatically in the top five in this league at that spot," he proclaimed.
"I want to say I'm the number one guy, I'm the king, baby. But I'm not gonna say that because that's always an earned spot. So I'm humble enough to say, 'You know what? I gotta go back and do my work.'"
We'll take a closer look at how playing time is going to be divided on the defensive line a little later on today. We've got some interesting stuff to look at. Check back later on.