In the least surprising move of the Denver Broncos offseason, linebacker DJ Williams was released on Monday afternoon. The move has been coming for weeks and it ends one of the most controversial careers in recent team history.
Williams is talented, no one disputes that, but his off the field antics were always a black cloud over his head and the black cloud carried over to Dove Valley. The Broncos were forced to put up with most of his childish behavior because they had no other option, but his last off the field incident finally cost Williams on the field.
Williams was suspended for the first ten games of last season and during that time, Wesley Woodyard became one of the best players on a defense that finished in the top five. The Broncos had the guy to replace Williams and from that point forward it was only a matter of time before he was released.
By releasing Williams on the day before free agency, the Broncos clear $6 million in salary cap space and all indications are that they will be aggressive in improving a team that went 13-3 last season. Some teams make these kinds of moves to save money or to get under the cap, but releasing Williams was purely a football move. A football move in the sense that they will turn around and spend that money in an effort to get better.
The Broncos also released third-string quarterback Caleb Haine on Monday; a move that will save them another $1.25 million. When you add that to the $6 million they saved by releasing Williams, the Broncos now have $7.25 million more to attack in free agency.
It remains to be seen what the Broncos do in the coming days, but make no mistake, Monday was only the beginning. They know their window with Peyton Manning is a short one, and they will do whatever they can to take advantage of it.
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