The Denver Broncos are expected to release perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on Wednesday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
By releasing Bailey, a 12-time Pro Bowler who is scheduled to make around $10 million next season, the Broncos would open up cap space.
Bailey was sidelined most of last season by a nagging left foot sprain. The 35-year-old shutdown corner returned late in the season to help the Broncos advance to the Super Bowl, where they lost 43-8 to Seattle.
The eight-time Pro Bowl safety and the venerable tight end signed new three-year contracts with the team designed to give the Steelers some cap relief before the league year begins next week.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but both contracts are designed to give Pittsburgh some flexibility heading into free agency.
The expected move comes after a pattern of disturbing behavior during the off-season by Bess, who spent only one season with Cleveland after being acquired in a trade last April. Bess was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer at an airport in Florida and he also posted photos of himself on social media with what appeared to be marijuana.
The 28-year-old Bess is still owed a guaranteed $3.067 million for 2014. The Browns signed him to a three-year contract extension shortly after they got him in a draft-day trade from Miami.
“From my knowledge, I know that Chicago wants to go a different route with me,” Hester told the NFL Network. “All I can say is thanks to the fans for their support. They've always been great to me. Always been loyal. I couldn't have played for a better city than those guys. At the end of my career, I do want to retire as a member of the Bears.”
He added the Bears are “parting ways” with him. The team declined comment.