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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : NFC

New Rice Contract Worth $32 Million

August 29, 1996|Associated Press

Jerry Rice, the NFL's career leader in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yardage, has reached agreement on a seven-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers worth $32 million.

The deal included a $4-million signing bonus as well as reporting and roster bonuses worth nearly $10 million. Base salaries over the life of the contract are worth about $18 million.

Rice, who turns 34 in October, would be 41 in the final year.

In another move, the 49ers re-signed Steve Wallace, released last spring, to play left tackle in a move that set off major changes in the offensive line.

The move allowed the 49ers to return Ray Brown to left guard from left tackle and shift Chris Dalman from left guard to right guard, displacing Derrick Deese, who will become a reserve. Jesse Sapolu remains at center and Harris Barton is still at right tackle.

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Emmitt Smith, who suffered a strained left knee ligament Aug. 17 in the second quarter of an exhibition game against Denver, says he will probably play Monday when the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys open against the Chicago Bears. . . . Chicago Bear running back Rashaan Salaam will sit out the season opener because of a hamstring injury. . . . Philadelphia quarterback Rodney Peete, who suffered a sprained left knee Aug. 18 in an exhibition against New England and was expected to be sidelined two to four weeks, said he will play in the season opener Sunday against Washington but will wear a brace.

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After a preseason holdout, rookie tight end Johnny McWilliams signed with the Arizona Cardinals. The third-round draft choice from USC agreed to a one-year contract worth $262,000 after going through three agents in negotiations. . . . A pretrial hearing for St. Louis Ram rookie running back Lawrence Phillips, charged with misdemeanor drunk driving, was postponed until Sept. 30.

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