By Jim Thomas

It's not as if the Rams were lukewarm about signing Simeon Rice. They were intrigued with the possibility of using the veteran defensive end in the nickel package — sliding James Hall inside — and using Rice as a rotation player as well. But it's not as if the team was counting on having Rice on their roster in '07.

Rice became a Denver Bronco on Monday, agreeing to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $3 million, plus about $1 million in potential incentives, according to league sources. The Rams made Rice a contract offer prior to his Sunday arrival in Denver for a visit.

But all indications are that Rice took the better deal in Denver. In addition, the Rams couldn't promise Rice that he would be a starter here — not after trading for Hall, who played well during the exhibition season and will make $3.25 million this season and $3.5 million in '08.

There were also mixed reviews on the condition of Rice's shoulder, even though he passed his physical in St. Louis. Rice's arm apparently quivered lifting weights with the surgically-repaired shoulder, a sign that all the strength wasn't back in the shoulder.