The move everyone has seen coming since the end of the 2012 NFL season is all but official now. As reported by Mike Klis in the Denver Post on Sunday, DJ Williams will not be with the Denver Broncos in 2013. The fact that Williams won’t be with the Broncos is not a surprise but the events leading to his departure might be.
Most believed the Williams would just be released before the start of the new league year on March 12th. However it appears as if the Broncos will attempt to trade Williams in an effort to get something in return.
It’s a smart move by the Broncos because Williams is a starting linebacker and there are many teams that could use him. Even if the Broncos are only able to get a low round draft pick in return, it’s better than just releasing him.
There are hurdles in attempting to trade a player like Williams, though. Every team knows that if he doesn’t get traded, the Broncos are going to release him so they might just wait and take their chances that they can sign him as a free agent. The Broncos are hoping that there is one team so desperate for help at linebacker that they don’t want to take a chance in beating out other teams for his services. It costs the Broncos nothing to try.
The other potential problem is Williams’ contract which is pretty high for a player north of 30 who has had numerous off the field issues. If he is traded, the team that acquires him has to pay that contract. If they wait till he is released, then they can sign him to whatever contract they want which would be substantially less.
Williams is expendable because of the emergence of Wesley Woodyard who had a breakout season in 2012. The Broncos will also save roughly $5 million, freeing up additional room under the salary cap to pursue other free agents if they choose to.
Williams, despite his issues, is an asset and like any good company the Broncos are going to try and get something for that asset. If they cannot trade him before April 15, the start of off-season workouts, then they will release him. Either way, Williams will be playing somewhere else in 2013.
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