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Broncos, Rice agree on one-year deal

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Nobody's more excited about Denver's signing of free agent sacks specialist Simeon Rice than Broncos safety John Lynch.

The two won a Super Bowl together in Tampa Bay in 2002, and both believe this reunion in the Rockies could lead to a second ring.

"He's a teammate who I loved playing with and one of the great pass-rushers of all-time. So, we'd be - anyone would be - fortunate to get him," Lynch said Monday while the sides were signing the one-year deal at Broncos headquarters.

Rice, whose 121 career sacks rank second to Michael Strahan among active players, was released by Tampa Bay this summer after the Buccaneers signed first-round draft pick Gaines Adams.

Rice had failed a physical earlier in the day after reporting to camp, but has since passed his medical tests. The 33-year-old started the first eight games last year before being sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Lynch said Rice told him he was fine: "He told me his shoulder's feeling good and he feels like he's ready to play."

Coach Mike Shanahan courted Rice to bring experience and pressure to a young defensive line.

"He's a big-time pass rusher, he's been in the league for a while, he's got a lot of talent," Shanahan said.

The Broncos on Tuesday released linebacker Wesly Mallard to make room for free agent defensive end Simeon Rice.

Mallard, entering his sixth NFL season, joined the Broncos as a free agent July 29.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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