HONOLULU — NFL great Jerry Rice is already bucking conventional fantasy football wisdom in a new Pro Bowl format inspired by the popular hobby.
Rice picked New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn as the anchors of his Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, opting for a passer over a runner.
Rice made the selections in Hawaii after winning a coin toss against Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders. Rice called tails.
The decision left Sanders with Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt for Sunday’s game.
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Meanwhile, Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, who just completed his 17th and final NFL season, was added to the Pro Bowl roster after San Francisco’s Vernon Davis pulled out. It will be Gonzalez’s 14th trip to the Pro Bowl.
In book, Steinberg says Leaf sabotaged draft
Leigh Steinberg, the former superagent who inspired the Tom Cruise movie character “Jerry Maguire,” but subsequently fell on hard times after battling alcoholism and bankruptcy, says in a book that former Washington State star quarterback Ryan Leaf skipped a meeting with former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Mora to sabotage his chances of being chosen No. 1 in the 1998 NFL draft.
Leaf, who Steinberg wrote didn’t want to play in Indianapolis, fell to the San Diego Chargers with the No. 2 pick.
The Colts, of course, chose Peyton Manning.
Steinberg proposed an idea to Leaf that would change the course of NFL history: Leaf could alter the Colts coach’s perception in such a way that the team would have no choice but to pass on him despite Colts GM Jim Irsay’s potential persistence. Steinberg writes about the scenario in “The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game.”
“ ‘If you go to the combine,’ I told Ryan, ‘but fail to show up for a meeting with Mora, that should do it. Jim is a real prideful person who has a tendency to explode. I am not recommending you do this, but if you are desperate to go to San Diego, this is the way,’ ” Steinberg wrote.
Leaf sought the quarterback job in San Diego “because of the exceptional weather and the more laid-back lifestyle,” Steinberg wrote.
• San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said there has been communication between the NFL and the team after Seattle’s Jeremy Lane ran into an unidentified person on the 49ers sideline during the NFC Championship Game.
Harbaugh said that general manager Trent Baalke had spoken to the league.
“Yeah. There has been some contact there. Trent’s talked to them about that,” Harbaugh said. “I do, though, have a perspective of that because I did see it. I was standing closer to the sideline than the person that got run into.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the Seahawks had reached out to the league to find out more about what happened. Carroll said he was disappointed there was not a penalty called on the play.
• Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase has declined an offer to become Cleveland coach, according to several media reports. The Broncos conducted a second interview with Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on Tuesday night in Mobile, Ala., a source confirmed. The Browns also are likely to set up a second meeting with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn later this week. Because Quinn will be in the Super Bowl, NFL rules stipulate the meeting must occur by Sunday.