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Brown hoping for Rice-like resurrection

Updated: August 31, 2004, 7:47 AM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
Few 49ers fans will forget when San Francisco released 13-time Pro Bowler Jerry Rice in June of 2001, but the move appeared to make sense from a management standpoint. After all, Rice, whose numbers had slipped during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, was 38 and coming off his 16th season in the league. He appeared to be on the downside of his career, and the 49ers decided to go younger.

Many players in Rice's position would have retired, but he felt he could still be productive and signed with Oakland. The change in scenery and offensive philosophy jumpstarted Rice's career, as he finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving in his first two seasons with the Raiders. Rice is a precise route runner who excelled in the Raiders' offense, which relied heavily on crossing patterns and timing. In fact, Rice's most productive season since 1996 came in 2002.

Rice's level of production late in his career is a testament to his natural ability, durability and understanding of the game. However, it also shows that players in the twilight of their careers still can make an impact in the right schemes, surrounded by the right supporting cast or in the right circumstances.

Here are 10 players over the age of 30 who changed teams during the offseason. Most aren't as explosive, fast or strong as they were earlier in their careers, but each has the potential to make an impact on his new team. The desire to prove their former teams wrong for letting them go also could cause some of these players to elevate the level of their game.

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