The Oakland Raiders are trying to accommodate wide receiver Jerry Rice with a trade before this week's deadline, an NFL head coach with knowledge of
the situation said.
"We looked into it," he said, "but we're not buying."
Sources close to the Raiders said the club has spoken to clubs about Rice, but there doesn't appear to be a deal in the works. That doesn't mean one
couldn't happen by next Tuesday, though sources close to the situation said the likelihood is not great.
"It wouldn't take much to get him," said the head coach, who added he believed Rice could be acquired for a sixth or seventh-round choice. "We didn't
even talk about what it would take, and the Raiders didn't mention Rice by name. They said they had a veteran wide receiver who was available."
Rice, 42, has been unhappy in Oakland this year where the Raiders are losing, Rice is sitting and quarterbacks keep completing passes to the wrong
guys. It's not the way Rice envisioned his career ending -- if, in fact, it is to end -- and he met with Oakland managing partner al Davis last week
to talk about it.
Neither side divulged what happened, but Rice is expected to start Sunday's game against Denver. Earlier this year, Rice failed to catch a pass for
the first time in his 19 years as a pro and recently complained about his involvement -- or lack of it -- in an offense that is struggling.
The Raiders could release Rice, but insiders believe the club never would risk allowing him to sign with a club like, say, Denver or Tampa.
"I think he's handling himself very, very well given the situation," said former San Francisco coach Bill Walsh, the man who drafted Rice. "When I
talked to him he told me this would be his last year. Now I don't know if it will be or not, but I sure would like to see him score another
Scouts who watch Rice say he doesn't have the quickness or ability to separate like he once did, but they insist he can be a useful receiver with the
right club. The question is: Which is the right club and what does Rice expect in return?
"You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see him finish his career with the San Francisco 49ers -- even if it's for one game," Walsh said.