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CHIEFS BOLSTER DEFENSE WITH PERRY

The Kansas City Chiefs strengthened themselves for the playoffs, claiming veteran defensive tackle Michael Dean Perry off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

The 32-year-old Perry, who is not expected to play in Sunday's regular-season finale against New Orleans, was voted to his sixth Pro Bowl in 1996 but fell out of favor with Denver coach Mike Shanahan and was waived earlier this week.

Perry, credited with 11 tackles and one forced fumble this season, was inactive for six of Denver's last seven games.

Perry, who was in the final season of a three-year, $7.2 million contract with the Broncos, had 39 tackles in 15 games last season. He signed with Denver as a free agent in 1995 after spending his first seven National Football League seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Elsewhere, the Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Jake Reed to a four-year contract extension through 2001, the team said.

Reed, 30, has 67 receptions this season with six touchdowns and 1,117 yards, his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He leads the NFC with an average of 16.7 yards a catch.

A seven-year professional out of Grambling State University, Reed has caught 307 passes for 4,986 yards and 26 touchdowns with the Vikings.

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