Found July 06, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
PLAYERS: D.J. Williams
TEAMS: Denver Broncos
Denver-broncos-oakland
DJ Williams Denver Broncos

Broncos LB D.J. Williams (#55) making a tackle in a home game against the Bills

When the Broncos’ 2011 season came to a close, not only did it mark the end of one of the NFL’s most prolific roller coaster rides of a story, but it also left the fan with a couple heart attacks, potentially anger management issues, and a 2012 dream.  The Tim Tebow lead Broncos were exciting and breathe taking, but only for the final quarter… which later became known as “Tebow Time.”  During “Tebow Time,” the fan would get every one of his/her hard earned penny’s worth.  Although the first three quarters were embarrassing and depressing, the fourth quarter clearly filled the fan with that which was lacking; hope.  The immediate football fan would proclaim that the excitement was solely due to the enigmatic ways Tim Tebow would bring his team from behind and finish the game in the winner’s circle.  However, just about every sports analyst would tell you, “First credit the defense.”  Interestingly enough, they would all be correct.  For as the defense went, so did the Broncos.  Granted that the defense is half the team, but if it were not for key stops produced by the Broncos’ D, then Tebow Time would have sounded more like, “I want to forget Tebow’s Time?”  On this defense is a man that has remained a cornerstone sense 2004.  He was a starter when the team went to the AFC Championship, and he has played for every one of the past six defensive coordinators.  He has over 600 total career solo tackles and during his career as a Bronco, he has played in more games than the future hall of famer Champ Bailey.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen; the man is the one and only D.J. Williams.

D.J. Williams was drafted in the first round by then head coach Mike Shanahan at number 17 overall in 2004.  Sense then, D.J. has solidified his role in the NFL as a legitimate LB and could easily be starting on any NFL roster.  Sense 2004, D.J. Williams has only missed eight games.  As a result, in the eight years D.J. Williams has been a Bronco, he has played in 120 games (not including playoff appearances).  He has tallied up a combined 810 tackles in his career, 617 of which were solo (NFL.com).  During his career, the defensive coordinator carousel has been never ending and as a result, D.J. Williams has played in every LB position possible.  He is a die-hard football player and is one heck of a tackling machine.  Unfortunately (and unfairly), he has yet to see a pro-bowl but still continues to be one of the more dominant linebackers in the game.  However, apparently cutting ties with D.J. Williams remains to be quite the possibility.

It has been widely reported and is now public news that D.J. Williams is facing a six game suspension due to drug abuse and could possibly be facing even heavier punishment as a result of DUI that he has yet to go to court for.  Currently, D.J. Williams is looking to appeal the six game suspension standing upon the premise that his urine sample was mishandled by the NFL.  Assuming the most optimistic situation for D.J., he would still have to face possible punishment for his DUI charge.  In a worst case scenario, D.J. Williams may be facing up to 8 games suspension.  Now, for anyone out there doing the math, that’s half of the 16 game season, which at what point the Broncos could very well be out of the playoff run entirely.  On the other hand, they may very well still be in the run and would love to see D.J. return to the team completely healthy and ready to go for the remainder of the season.  Now, as it stands, D.J. Williams is set to make $5 million for the 2012 season and then $6 million in 2013 based on a restructured contract he signed back in 2009.  By cutting ties with D.J., the Broncos would then essentially be saving $11 million.  The problem of course is that you no longer have D.J. Williams.

Now, many in the Bronco fan nation believe it’s time to cut ties with the unappreciated and underrated LB.  They believe that when a prodigy becomes a problem, it is best to remove the problem so as to develop new prodigies.  Is that really such a good idea?  Sense 2004 the only other Defensive Bronco to remain on the team has been the sensational Champ Bailey.  Anyone else drafted or signed  has sense been released and is currently either unemployed or employed elsewhere.  But after going through three head coaches and six different defensive coordinators, one can only be impressed that he is still an obvious starter year in and year out.  The only thing anyone ever talks about is, “What position will D.J. be playing this year?”

Assuming the Broncos did wish to cut D.J., they would be cutting a guy who averages little more than 75 solo tackles a year and replacing him with who?  Behind D.J. is Wesley Woodyard, an undrafted free agent who just completed his 4th and best NFL season with 67 solo tackles and 97 combined.  He is set to make $1.5 million and has impressed coaches sense his arrival in Denver.  Make no mistake, there’s a reason Williams starts over Woodyard.  However, Woodyard would save the Broncos about $3.5 million this year and $4 million next year.  With the brutal hit the Broncos are taking in terms of cap space with new QB Peyton Manning, it could be that D.J. Williams is a casualty of cap.  However, behind Wesley Woodyard are two inexperienced LBs and one of them happens to be a rookie.  The Nate Irving project is not going as quickly as many of the Bronco personnel had hoped.  It’s probably safe to assume they had wished to be replacing Joe Mays (the MLB) with Irving and thus allow them to use Woodyard to rotate across the board in any LB position.  But instead, they drafted Danny Trevathan who is known to be a tackling machine despite his smaller size.  In any case, neither of these two appears to be ready to take on a starting role in the NFL.

With all of this in mind, what then do the Broncos do with D.J. Williams?  Do the Broncos cut ties with the only defensive stalwart (outside of Champ) sense 2004 and hope that a star rises among the youth in training camp?  Or do they hang on for the ride and cross their fingers in hopes that D.J. can find himself capable of playing more than 10 games this season?  Naturally, only time will tell.  But before time tells us, perhaps D.J. should remind the Bronco staff and Bronco faithful how he caused the fumble (and recovered) against Miami which allowed for Tebow time.  How he ran Marion Barber out of bounce thus giving Tebow time to tie the game and eventually win.  Perhaps he may even mention how it was never his side of the field that failed when the opposing team decided to run a draw out of shot gun.  Or, better yet, compose his own highlight reel of him obliterating ball carriers and (interestingly enough) not getting flagged for it.  Just maybe don’t mention your coverage of TE’s.  Either way, whatever the Broncos decide to do with him, if anyone asks, “What position will D.J. Williams be playing?” the answer will undoubtedly be, “Linebacker.”

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
MOVIN' ON UP

Broncos kicker moving out of hotel

Broncos kicker Matt Prater says there is a nice, strange bonus that he has for signing a long-term deal to remain with the team.

Stats and film suggest D.J. Williams is just fine

Ever since iTweetGate, fans have become increasingly adamant that nine-year linebacker D.J. Williams should be shipped out of town. In one of our recent polls, 55% of fans voted in favor of D.J. being taken out of the starting lineup all together. My response has been that the team values D.J.’s on-the-field performance higher than his occasional off-the-field mishaps —...

Peyton Manning Graces Wheaties Cereal Cover

(Image courtesy of Shadd Ring/Broncos Planet) Forget Madden video game covers, our quarterback is on the cover of a cereal box. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning appears on the Wheaties boxes being sold in Colorado, according our friends at Bronco Planet.  The box, with Wheaties’ fittingly orange background, shows Manning in workout attire with a football in hand. This...
COMPUTERS=THE FUTURE

Peyton Manning loves iPad playbook

The new Broncos quarterback apparently loves how the team has transferred its 500-page playbook, DVDs, etc. on to iPads that boast 64 gigabytes of data.

Prater’s looking for a condo after living in hotel

(Field image courtesy of Getty Images) In 2007, the Denver Broncos signed kicker Matt Prater off the Miami Dolphin‘s practice squad.  Five years later, Prater is the team’s starting kicker and just signed a four-year deal with the team. Now he can move out of the hotel he has been staying in since signing with the team five years ago. “I’m actually in the process of looking...

Bailey remembers watching film on VHS tapes

Before HD televisions and DVDs, Champ Bailey watched grainy film on VHS tapes. The Denver Broncos recently joined the iPad playbook revolution and have given every player a ‘Pad for studying film, plays and more.  For the younger, tech-savvy players, the iPads are easily adjusted to. But for some of the veterans, including eleven-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, the iPads will take...

Ten Broncos Ranked Among Top 40 in Division

Not to be outdone by NFL Network’s meaningless Top 100 list, ESPN has been revealing their Top 40 players from each division in the NFL.  On Friday, they ranked the AFC West. Ten members of the Broncos made the list, with quarterback Peyton Manning ranked first overall and linebacker Von Miller coming in at No. 4.  Complete list of Broncos that made the cut after the jump. ...

Broncos Kicker lived in a Hotel for 5 Years

At the beginning of the week, it was announced that the Denver Broncos had reached an agreement with Kicker Matt Prater on a four-year deal that would pay him $13 Million, with a signing bonus of nearly $3 Million and removing the franchise tag he was given before free agency. Prater has played for the Broncos for five years and he’s been undoubtedly clutch for them, converting...

Daily Links: Denver Broncos News – 7/5/12

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more Broncos updates throughout the day. Denver Broncos News THE THREE STOOGES | Mile High Sports Matt Prater often calls home to Florida to see if his dad has seen any hawks. No joke. Prater’s nickname is “Hawk” for that very reason. Matt Prater’s new Broncos deal a long way from nearly being cut by Shanahan | First and Orange When the...

Manning and the Broncos big fans of iPad playbook

The Denver Broncos are among a growing list of teams that have tossed their monster paper playbooks and switched to the iPad.   Using the iPad is not mandatory this season but Broncos video director Steve Boxer told FOXSports.com that 90 percent of the team has made the switch.   One big fan of the iPad playbook is Peyton Manning. “Peyton loves it,” Boxer told FOX Sports...

San Diego Chargers 2012 first half season predictions

Since the 2012 season is coming hard and fast, I thought a little review and speculation was in order, so I went through the Chargers regular season schedule (If the readers really wanted I could try and guess how each teams third and fourth strings will perform against each other). // > Now, to clarify, as not only a Charger writer but a fan as well, I would like, hope...
Broncos News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.