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Hall of Famer Rice says Newton judged on passing, not race

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon recently expressed frustration and outrage over the "racially based" treatment he claims Auburn quarterback Cam Newton has received leading up to next week's NFL draft.

Now another Hall of Famer, wide receiver Jerry Rice, has weighed in on the subject -- and disagrees with Moon.

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Rice said Thursday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" that the NFL no longer holds a bias against African-American quarterbacks.

"I think the NFL is so much further now," Rice said. "I don't think race is a factor."

Rice, who has met with Newton, said race won't keep the Heisman Trophy winner off a team's draft board, but his passing accuracy might.

"He's going to have to be able to drop back, plant himself and deliver that football," Rice said. "During his workouts, the ball was a little high, all over the place."

Rice said he was impressed with Newton's physical stature and positive attitude during their meeting.

"Now we just have to sit back and see what happens," Rice said of Newton, whom many believe the Carolina Panthers will draft No. 1 overall.

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