The original suspension was for unspecified conduct detrimental
to the team. Gardener responded by telling a Denver radio station
on Friday he didn't believe Shanahan wants him on the team and
calling the coach "that little man up there."
Those comments violated a clause in every NFL contract requiring
players to give their best efforts and loyalty to their team, the
Broncos said in a statement on Tuesday.
The new suspension means Gardener, a defensive tackle, will miss
the Nov. 30 game at Oakland and the Dec. 7 game against Kansas City
in Denver. He missed last Sunday's 19-10 loss to Chicago because of
the first suspension.
Shanahan talked with team leaders before extending Gardener's
suspension, and all supported the action, the Broncos said.
Neither Gardener nor the team has said what led to the first
suspension. But Gardener told KRFX radio he believed he was "set
up" to overreact to an edited tape shown to players that depicted
Gardener failing to hustle on several plays.
"Right now, I have to believe it was a sabotage for me to
react, in order for them to suspend me for the year, or for conduct
detrimental to the team," he said.
"It was a setup, because things weren't quite right."
Gardener signed a seven-year, $34.8 million deal with Denver in
the offseason but hasn't fulfilled the team's expectations.
He was arrested in July after a late-night fight outside a
pancake house and missed all of training camp because of wrist
surgery stemming from the altercation.
Gardener returned to practice in early September but missed the
next four games because of lingering soreness in his wrist. He saw
limited action his first two games before moving into the starting
lineup for two games, starting Oct 12 against Baltimore.