Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Broncos took a diversion from the Brandon Marshall saga Wednesday and made two significant moves by extending the contract of a key player and cutting a former key signing.
Denver announced that it gave center Casey Wiegmann a two-year contract extension. Agent Jack Reale confirmed that linebacker Boss Bailey was released.
Bailey was rehabilitating from a major knee injury he suffered last season, his first in Denver, where he was reunited with his brother, star cornerback Champ Bailey. Boss Bailey is expected to be ready to play in the NFL this season.
"I was somewhat surprised by this, although you are never really surprised in the NFL," Reale said of the decision.
Asked how Champ Bailey, who is also Reale's client, feels about this release of his brother, Reale said: "Champ is a pro and he understands the business. He's disappointed, but he understands." Champ Bailey has two more years remaining on his contract in Denver.
The Broncos made the move to cut Boss Bailey because it likes its outside linebackers, a group that includes Elvis Dumervil and top pick Robert Ayers. The move was costly for Denver. It will cost about $3.5 million in a salary cap space. Also, Bailey will be paid a guaranteed $2 million roster bonus.
Meanwhile, Denver averted a contract dispute with Wiegmann by giving him a new deal. He is getting about $3.5 million in new money. Wiegmann had one more year remaining on his deal. He said he'd consider retiring without a new deal.
However, both the Broncos and Wiegmann's agent lauded how the situation was handled on each side. Wiegmann attended the offseason program and mandatory minicamps, unlike what Marshall is doing.
"This shows the value of doing the right thing," Wiegmann's agent Joe Linta said. "Casey showed up for everything and Josh McDaniels (Denver's coach) and Brian Xanders (Denver's general manager) deserve credit for rewarding a player who does the right thing."
Added McDaniels in a statement: "We are very excited that we were able to negotiate an extension for Casey Wiegmann. The professionalism and leadership he showed throughout this process was outstanding. He was here every day working hard during our mini camps and conditioning program. Maintaining the continuity of our offensive line was a big priority for us, and we are very fortunate to have a Pro Bowl center like Casey Wiegmann as part of this organization."