Broncos WR Smith on retired list

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (Ticker) - The hip injury that forced Rod Smith to sit out last season has now put his NFL future in doubt.

The Denver Broncos on Friday placed their all-time leader in every major career receiving category and a key member of their back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams on the reserve/retired list.

The move, agreed upon mutually by the team and Smith, gives the Broncos flexibility under the salary cap heading into the 2008 season and does not necessarily mean the veteran’s career is finished.

Smith, 37, who underwent left hip surgery in February 2007, began the season on the team’s physically unable to perform list. He returned to practice in late October but he was unable to continue after just three days.

Smith started all 16 games for Denver in 2006, totaling 52 receptions for 512 yards with three touchdowns. He caught at least one pass in every game, extending his franchise-record streak to 124 games.

A 13-year member of the Broncos after going undrafted, Smith holds several franchise records including most receptions, touchdown catches and combined yardage.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection joined the Broncos as a free agent from Missouri Southern University in 1994, and posted 849 career receptions for 11,389 receiving yards with 68 touchdowns in 183 games.

Smith’s career totals for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns are the most by an undrafted player in NFL history, and he ranks seventh and eighth, respectively, in career games played and started by a Bronco.

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Updated Friday, Feb 15, 2008