In recent days, we’ve heard Warren Sapp and Tiki Barber give their opinions about the question of whether Simeon Rice or Michael Strahan was the better player.
Now we’ve heard from one of the men at the center of the question as well. Rice was a guest with his former teammate Booger McFarland and Rich Herrera on 98.7 The Fan to talk about Sapp’s belief that Rice belongs in the Hall of Fame ahead of Strahan and Barber’s retort that Sapp was an “idiot” for thinking that.
Rice said he thought Strahan was a great pass rusher and put together a great career, but made no secret about his belief that he did enough to earn a bust in Canton. Rice said his skill level was “unparalleled” and that he was in “a class of my own” when it came to defensive ends. Rice also admitted he’s felt slighted in the past by the lack of attention he feels he’s been paid, but that he’s content with the career he had and the impact he’ll have on future players.
“I think you look at 99 percent of the league,” Rice said. “And they would want to have 100-plus sacks in 10 years and they would want to average more sacks than anybody did at that time. Looking back now, I can only be content and happy at the body of work I left behind, because one thing that [we] talked about was the future players would learn from the tape of our past. And I think that’s kind of where I am now.”
Rice averaged 11.9 sacks per year over his first 10 years in the NFL and was at one time the second-fastest player to 100 sacks, trailing only Reggie White, but he didn’t have the closing kick to his career that Strahan did. Whether or not that’s enough to keep him from Hall consideration is in the eye of the beholder, which fits right into this overall battle of opinions that can never be conclusively settled.