Monday, June 7, 2010
Updated: June 8, 1:02 PM ET
Bruce to retire as Ram after trade
ESPN.com news services
Receiver Isaac Bruce will retire as a member of the St. Louis Rams.
Bruce, who holds every major receiving record in Rams history, was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the Rams on Monday so the receiver could retire with St. Louis.
The ceremonial trade did not include an exchange of players or draft picks, Rams spokesman Casey Pearce said. A league source, however, told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the 49ers would receive a conditional 2012 draft pick if Bruce plays this season for St. Louis, which is extremely unlikely.
The 37-year-old Bruce and the Rams will hold a news conference Wednesday to announce his retirement.
Among the Rams marks Bruce holds: most career receptions (942), career receiving yards (14,109) and receiving touchdowns (84). He also leads the Rams in all-time postseason yards with 759 and is the only Rams player with four 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs.
In his 16-year career (14 with St. Louis), Bruce ranks second in receiving yards (15,208), fifth in receptions (1,024) and ninth in touchdowns (91)
Along with Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt, Bruce was the core of the high-scoring "Greatest Show on Turf" team that went to two Super Bowls. He caught the winning touchdown pass from Warner in the 23-16 win over Tennessee in the 2000 Super Bowl.
Bruce was a quiet, dignified presence on the Rams and was known for a strong work ethic. His shining moment came with just under 2 minutes to play in the 2000 Super Bowl, after the Titans had rallied from a 16-0 deficit to tie the game.
Warner, under a heavy blitz, threw to the sideline. Bruce, in single coverage, waited for the underthrown ball, sidestepped a defender, and raced untouched for the score. The game ended when Titans receiver Kevin Dyson was tackled at the 1-yard-line as time expired.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Bruce's name had still been listed on the 49ers' roster even though it was all but certain he wouldn't be back for the 2010 season.
Bruce was drafted 33rd overall in 1994 by the Rams when the team was still in Los Angeles. He then spent his final two years in the NFL with the 49ers, appearing in 26 games and making 22 starts. Bruce led San Francisco with 61 catches and 835 yards receiving in 2008.
Bruce's playing time diminished significantly after first-round draft pick Michael Crabtree signed in October. Bruce was inactive for five straight games before his teammates persuaded coach Mike Singletary to let Bruce play the season-ending game in St. Louis.
It turned out to be a ceremonial start, but it was still an emotional day for Bruce. Before the game, St. Louis fans chanted "Bruuuuce, Bruuuuce," just as they did in the team's glory days a decade earlier.
Bruce played one snap before spending the rest of the game watching from the sideline. As the game ended, with his image on the video screen, Bruce waved to fans who cheered him and again chanted his name.
Singletary said he couldn't have expected anything more from Bruce in his time with San Francisco.
"Everything that he did while he was here, the professionalism, the work ethic, the candor, everything about him ... it drew all of our receivers to him," Singletary told the San Jose Mercury News.
"I'm excited about the whole transaction that's taking place. He's going to retire a Ram and that's what he deserves," he told the newspaper.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.