The Broncos have announced via Twitter that veteran defenders Justin Bannan and Jamal Williams have been released just a year after both were originally signed as free agents. Bannan earned $10.5 million in guarantees as part of his deal with Denver and was due a $500,000 roster bonus and $3.5 million salary in 2011. Williams received $7 million in guarantees with his contract and according to Mike Klis was set to earn a $1 million roster bonus an $4.2 million in salary. Along with the release of Daniel Graham yesterday, Denver has cut $14.4 million in salary and bonus obligations from their 2011 payroll. See Andrew Mason's latest entry for more details.
Also, the Broncos have chosen not to tender RB Laurence Maroney, who was acquired midseason with a sixth-round pick from New England in return for a fourth-rounder.
Update 5:38PM ET - As for the CBA negotiation: according to Jim Trotter via Twitter,
the sides have agreed on the 24-hour extension. they're awaiting approval from judge doty. should be a formality.
Tight end Daniel Graham has been released by the Broncos today after four seasons with the team. Meanwhile, Denver extended qualifying offers to several veteran players - right tackle Ryan Harris, placekicker Matt Prater, defensive linemen Marcus Thomas and Kevin Vickerson, and linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
UPDATE 10:13PM ET - According to Klis, Woodyard and Prater received second-round tenders worth $1.835 million, while Harris, Thomas and Vickerson received original round tenders worth $1.2 miliion. However, in the likely case that the next NFL season is played under a new CBA, those latter three players will all be unrestricted free agents.
7:48PM ET - Via Josina and Twitter, Marcus Thomas' agent says the player will not be signing his tender and wants to test unrestricted free agency, for what that's worth...
John Elway has announced via Twitter that the Broncos have agreed to a new contract with Champ Bailey:
We are thrilled to announce that the Broncos have agreed to terms on a new four-year contract with cornerback Champ Bailey. Champ is truly one of the NFL's elite players, a 10-time Pro Bowler who is playing at the absolute highest level. The commitment and loyalty that Champ has shown to the Broncos, the city of Denver and this region is exemplary. We're fortunate to have Champ with the Broncos for a long time. This is a GREAT day for our entire organization and our fans.
According to the Denver Post, Bailey has given the Broncos what is quite clearly a hometown discount - only $15 million is guaranteed over the life of the four-year deal. He will receive a guaranteed $11 million salary in 2011, with $4 million of his 2012 compensation guaranteed. Frankly, this is a stunningly favorable deal for the team which Bailey has been a part of for seven seasons now. The retention of the 10-time Pro Bowl cornerback promises Denver some stability at a position that was suddenly looking thin considering the legal issues of rookie Perrish Cox and the until-now murky status of Bailey.
The Broncos announced today the hiring of Ron
Miley Cyrus Milus and Richard Smith as defensive coaches. Milus will coach the team's secondary, while Smith will coach the linebackers. Both had been on head coach John Fox's staff in Carolina and were Denver assistants earlier in their careers.
Update 7:13PM ET - Adam Gase has decided to remain with the Broncos, but as previously speculated upon, he will switch from coaching the team's wide receivers to tutoring its quarterbacks. As expected, the team also hired Jeff Rodgers to coach their special teams; Rodgers had filled the same role in Carolina under head coach John Fox.
Gase has worked as a QB coach before, for the Lions in 2007 when Mike Martz was running Detroit's offense. 2011 will mark Gase's seventh season as an NFL coach, following three years in Detroit, one in San Francisco and the past two years in Denver as the Broncos' WR coach.
Rodgers is the younger brother of new Broncos defensive quality control coach Jay Rodgers and has coached in the NFL for seven seasons, including five seasons in San Francisco.
The Broncos have signed DT Louis Leonard today and placed LB Lee Robinson on injured reserve after he suffered a knee injury in Sunday's victory over the Texans. Leonard is a fourth-year player out of Fresno State who was originally signed by San Diego as an undrafted free agent and has played 25 games over the course of a career spent with St. Louis, Cleveland, Carolina and New England. Leonard is 6'4" and weighs 325 pounds.
Due to the groin injury suffered earlier in the week by K Matt Prater, the Broncos today added Steven Hauschka, a third-year kicker who made 10 of 15 field goal attempts in 17 games for Baltimore in 2008 and 2009. Hauschka was a member of the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2010 after appearing in two preseason games for the Detroit Lions.
In order to make room for Hauschka on the roster, Denver has waived G Stanley Daniels, who started the first four games of the season at left guard for the Broncos.
The Broncos have cut LB Jarvis Moss, who had been their 1st-round pick in the 2007 Draft. In his four seasons with Denver, Moss tallied 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks and pass defensed in 34 games (29 starts). According to the Denver Post, the Broncos have signed LB David Veikune to replace Moss on the 53-man roster. Veikune had been a 2nd-round pick (52nd overall) out of Hawaii by the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Veikune was cut by the Browns on September 7th, 2010.
According to Andrew Mason of MaxDenver.com, Broncos LB Robert Ayers is expected to practice today. Ayers has missed Denver's last four games with a fractured foot.
The Broncos have signed free-agent TE Daniel Coats, a fourth-year player who was released earlier in the season by the Cincinnati Bengals. Coats has 30 career receptions for 291 yards with no touchdowns. He is listed at 6'3" 264 lbs and went undrafted out of BYU in 2007. Coats suited up for 53 games during his time with the Bengals, including 18 starts.
Denver was expected to get several key players back from injury today, as Kevin Vickerson, Wesley Woodyard, Darcel McBath and Perrish Cox all were scheduled to return. Plus, Ryan Harris again practiced at RT, with Zane Beadles finally sliding over to LG with the first team.
The Broncos today added LB Diyral Briggs to the active roster. Briggs takes the place of WR Matthew Willis, who was placed on IR after breaking his foot Sunday. Denver also added WR Eron Riley to the practice squad to take the spot formerly held by Briggs. You can read more about these players in the team’s official press release.