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With retirement an option, Smith to hold news conference

DENVER -- Broncos receiver Rod Smith is planning to hold a news conference Thursday amid published reports that he will retire.

Smith's agent, Jack Mills, confirmed the event but declined to give details.

The Broncos said they were aware of the reports, but didn't know about a press conference.

Smith, 38, has been on the reserve/retired list since February and has had two hip operations in the last year and a half. He's the franchise's career leader in every major receiving category.

In June, Smith paid a visit to the Broncos' team camp and passed out pointers to the younger receivers as they ran their routes. He said at the time that he wasn't sure if he was ready to walk away from football.

However, he admitted that if he had caught his last pass, he was at peace with the decision.

"You knew it eventually was going to end," Smith said in June. "When it's time to close the door, trust me, I'm going to close it and wish the Broncos the best, no matter what."

Smith holds franchise records for career receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389), touchdown catches (68), touchdowns (71) and 100-yard games (31).

The Missouri Southern product also leads all undrafted players in every major receiving category.

Smith joined the team's practice squad in 1994 and played on the Broncos' 1998 and 1999 Super Bowl championship teams.

The Broncos made bolstering their depth at receiver an offseason priority, bringing in Keary Colbert, Samie Parker and Darrell Jackson after severing ties with Javon Walker.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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