Jerry Rice checked out of his hotel in Denver yesterday, as he contemplated whether to retire or play his final season as a fourth or fifth receiver for the Broncos.

Rice survived Denver's cut down to 53 players Saturday, but his agent, Jim Steiner, said the NFL's all-time leading receiver had been notified by Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan that he would not be their third receiver.

Steiner said Rice wanted to close out his career no lower than a third receiver.

Steiner said Rice was in San Francisco yesterday and a decision would likely come today, after he had a chance to meet with Shanahan.

* EAGLES: Philadelphia filled its need for a big running back, claiming Lamar Gordon off waivers from Miami. The Eagles released second-year pro Bruce Perry (Maryland).

* JETS: New York acquired offensive lineman Steve Morley from Green Bay for an undisclosed draft choice.

The Jets also cut first-year guard Jason Nerys and claimed wide receiver Dante Ridgeway off waivers from Cincinnati and cornerback Lamont Reid off waivers from Arizona.

* VIKINGS: Minnesota released veteran punter Darren Bennett and claimed rookie Chris Kluwe off waivers.

* 49ERS: San Francisco claimed tight end Trent Smith off waivers from Baltimore and cut tight end Aaron Walker.

* BEARS: Chicago claimed defensive backs Daven Holly and Chris Thompson off waivers and waived offensive lineman Steve Edwards and defensive back Jerrell Pippens.

* BROWNS: Cleveland signed tight end Billy Miller to a one-year contract.

* JAGUARS: Jacksonville placed linebacker Jorge Cordova on injured reserve and claimed linebacker Tracy White off waivers from Seattle.