ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Broncos receiver Rod Smith broke out a pair of dark, designer shades and his two Super Bowl rings for the occasion, wearing one on each hand.
The rings were a reminder of what once was, the shades to hide the tears.
Smith stepped into a room full of family, friends and teammates Thursday and announced his NFL career was done.
He tried to tell a joke to start things off, but his usual wisecracks failed him. Instead, he pulled a tissue from his pocket and dabbed at his eyes.
Saying farewell wasn't easy.
"I gave them everything I had," Smith said as he choked up while announcing his retirement.
For that, Broncos president and CEO Pat Bowlen was truly appreciative, calling Smith the best Broncos player not named John Elway that he's ever had play for him.
"If I ever get anybody like you or like John again, I'm going to be very fortunate," Bowlen said.
Smith, 38, had been on the reserve/retired list since February and has had two hip operations in the past year and a half. He's the franchise's career leader in every major receiving category.
"Rod is the only person I've ever been around on a consistent basis, day in and day out, that never cared about his stats," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "All Rod talked about was winning."
His numbers were nice, though. Smith holds franchise records for career receptions (849), yards receiving (11,389), touchdown catches (68), touchdowns (71) and 100-yard games (31).
The former Missouri Southern star also leads undrafted players in every major receiving category.
PACK GIVES NEW DEAL TO POPPINGA: The Green Bay Packers reached agreement on a contract extension for linebacker Brady Poppinga, general manager Ted Thompson said during Thursday's annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.
Poppinga, who is expected to compete with free agent signee Brandon Chillar for the starting strong side linebacker spot during training camp, had one year left on his existing deal.
Thompson said the Packers continue to work on contracts for their unsigned draft picks and running back Ryan Grant, who is an exclusive rights free agent but is looking for a long-term deal after having a breakout season in 2007.
SUPER BOWL HERO DAVID TYREE: Super Bowl hero David Tyree was placed on the physically unable to perform list by the New York Giants on Thursday because of lingering problems recovering from surgery on his right knee.
Tyree, whose one-handed catch of a pass against his helmet led to the game-winning touchdown against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, is uncertain how long it will take to recover from his surgery in April.
"If they tell you four months, you want to get back in three weeks," Tyree said after reporting to training camp at the University at Albany. "But it's not guaranteed with everything working perfectly, and most times things don't work perfectly."