Shortly after parting company with LBs Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach, the Chicago Bears have signed a potential replacement for either position in former Broncos’ LB D.J. Williams, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears have since confirmed the news.
G.M. Phil Emery offered comment on the signing, saying, “We are happy to welcome D.J. to the Bears and are excited to start working with him. This is a great opportunity for D.J. to restart his career after coming off suspension for part of the 2012 season.
"We see a player that has very good athletic upside who can contribute immediately at ‘Mike’ [middle] linebacker. He is also a versatile player who has played both outside linebacker positions, giving us flexibility in the draft.”
The deal is reportedly worth $1.75 million, $850,000 of that via workout and roster bonuses. None of the money is guaranteed. No doubt the Bears had no intention of guaranteeing salary to a guy who would first have to guarantee he could stay out of trouble and on the field.
Williams missed nine games in 2012 on two separate suspensions—six for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing drugs and three for an alcohol-related arrest. The alcohol related arrest (DUI) was his second in two years.
The move by no means completely fixes the Bears' depth issues at linebacker, but it does provide them with a productive veteran who fits the system. But Williams is due to turn 31 before the season starts, and Chicago will want to begin getting younger on defense in a hurry.
Subscribe to Chicago Bears Huddle:
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.