49ers not signing Rice Jr. is best for him

June, 26, 2014
Jun 26
6:20
PM ET
The son and namesake of one of the greatest players in San Francisco 49ers history is getting his chance to pave his own NFL career.

However, it's not with his father's team.

The Washington Redskins signed Jerry Rice Jr., an undrafted rookie, a month before training camp. The 49ers gave him a tryout at their rookie minicamp in May but did not extend an offer. Rice, who played at UCLA and then UNLV, also participated in the team's local pro day prior to the draft. The Baltimore Ravens also gave Rice a tryout.

It's no surprise Rice is getting his NFL chance elsewhere. The 49ers are just too deep at receiver that Rice had no chance even on the practice squad. Rice's best chance in Washington right away is by playing on the scout team.

The 49ers would be doing Rice an injustice if they signed him just for public relations reasons or as a nod to his father.

In Washington, he will likely get a better chance to make the practice squad and he will not have any pressure. He will be just another undrafted rookie -- albeit with a famous name.

If Rice, who didn't make much an impact in college, makes improvements and gets some experience, the 49ers could look at him down the road. For now, it's best for Rice to be where he is, even at the cost of sentiment.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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