Broncos' shakeup includes release of Rice

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos released veteran defensive lineman Simeon Rice before the end of practice Friday.

The 33-year-old Rice signed a one-year, $3 million contract on Sept. 3. He chose Denver over St. Louis in part because of the opportunity to get more playing time after starter Ebenezer Ekuban sustained a season-ending Achilles' injury in training camp.

"Under the current situation we felt like we were better with the younger players that we do have," coach Mike Shanahan said. "They give us the best chance to win, and that's the direction we are going."

Rice could not be reached for comment Friday.

"He asked if it wasn't working out on both sides to be let go, and they obliged him," said safety John Lynch, who played with Rice at Tampa Bay.

"I'm disappointed it didn't work out," Lynch added. "I feel partly responsible for urging him to come here, and from the start it never worked out."

Rice, a 12-year veteran, has 121 career sacks, second only to Michael Strahan among active players. He failed a physical in Tampa Bay but has since passed all his medical tests.

Shanahan said the Broncos had not signed anyone to fill Rice's roster spot but didn't rule out the possibility.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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