If drugs, giving away secrets, court convictions and parties are the way to measure an eventful summer, then linebacker D.J. Williams’ offseason could garner a book deal. With a six-game suspension from the NFL and more days off pending in the commissioner’s office, he will have plenty of time to relish in his glory days. On a Denver Broncos team hoping to be in Super Bowl contention, keeping Williams around as a possible distraction seems unwise. That is, until you consider that he will not get paid during the suspension.
The Denver Broncos owe Williams five million dollars for the season. However, every game missed not only keeps the Broncos from having to pay the check, it also does not count against their salary cap. This could help a Broncos’ team that is struggling with linebacker depth. Denver will likely want to pick up veterans once they are cut from other teams’ rosters. Because of his second DWI conviction, Williams could also be suspended for up to four more games or fined two more games worth of pay.
Williams’ summer was action packed. He was served a six-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs and Williams lost the appeal case he brought against the league. D.J. not only tweeted out a picture of the Broncos playbook during minicamp, but also announced that he was learning a new position. Williams used social media for its desired purpose of flaunting a partying lifestyle on Twitter. Finally, last week he was convicted of his second DWI during his career.
With all of this evidence, it would be easy for the Broncos to simply cut their losses with Williams and focus on finishing Peyton Manning’s drives with touchdowns rather than interceptions. However, Williams has been a productive member of training camp and not served as a distraction. When he is excluded from drills, he runs on the sidelines and stays out of trouble on the field. Williams is a talented player and the Broncos will not be able to replace his skills on the open market. Whether it’s Week 8 or Week 12, a boost from Williams could be huge for this inexperienced Broncos defense.