Excellent speed. Can run with any back or tight end in coverage. Gets over trash well and makes a ton of plays in pursuit. Smart and instinctive in zone coverage. Can rush the passer because he is too quick to block.
Average-sized. Not a natural gap filler in space. Can be blown back when a blocker gets into his body. Could also improve his vision of the offense on passing plays.
Excellent inside linebacker.
Movements & Injuries
Declared free agent.
Neck injury, injured reserve.
Re-signed by the Chicago Bears to a one-year contract.
Torn pectoral muscle, injured reserve.
Chest injury, out.
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Bears to a one-year contract.
Released by the Denver Broncos.
Activated from the reserve/suspended list.
Suspended by the NFL for 3 additional games.
Suspended by the NFL for 6 games.
Elbow injury, out.
Elbow injury, out.
Knee injury, out.
Signed by the Denver Broncos to a five-year contract extension.
Signed by the Denver Broncos.
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Chicago Bears.
Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1st round (17th overall) in 2004.
D.J. Williams re-signs with Bears | 03/11/2014 4:33 PM
Bears re-signed LB D.J. Williams.
Josina Anderson on Twitter
Williams will be depth and competition in the middle for Jon Bostic. Of course, the injury-prone veteran will have to stay healthy. Williams lived up to his reputation by missing 10 games last year due to a torn pectoral.
Bears on verge of re-signing LB D.J. Williams | 03/10/2014 2:26 PM
The Chicago Tribune reports the Bears are on the verge of re-signing free agent LB D.J. Williams.
A source told the paper Williams is expected to be locked up before free agency opens on Tuesday. The Bears would hold another camp battle at middle linebacker, pitting Williams against incumbent sophomore Jon Bostic. Williams was manning the middle last year before tearing his left pectoral in early October.
Bears interested in re-signing LB Williams? | 02/04/2014 8:10 AM
ESPN Chicago hints the Bears may have some interest in re-signing MLB D.J. Williams.
Signed to a one-year deal last spring, Williams appeared in six games for the Bears before suffering a torn left pectoral muscle and heading to injured reserve. Jon Bostic took over in the middle, but the Bears see his future at outside linebacker. Williams turns 32 this summer but could hold down the fort for another season on another one-year deal. He's been extremely injury-prone, however.
Bears place D.J. Williams on I.R. | 10/18/2013 3:17 PM
Bears placed MLB D.J. Williams on injured reserve with a torn left pectoral muscle, ending his season.
Rookie Jon Bostic will be Chicago's starting middle linebacker the rest of the way. Injury prone even before the pectoral tear and 31 years old, Williams won't generate much interest on the free-agent market in 2014.
Bears lose MLB Williams to year-ending injury | 10/11/2013 3:13 PM
Bears MLB D.J. Williams is done for the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Josina Anderson on Twitter
Rookie Jon Bostic will take over at middle linebacker, likely as a two-down player who exits the field on passing downs. Williams, 31, made four starts after returning from a preseason calf injury, recording 27 tackles and a forced fumble. It's a fairly large blow to a Chicago front seven that got pushed around and embarrassed by Brandon Jacobs on Thursday night. The Bears' defense will be one to target for fantasy running game matchups moving forward. They face the Redskins in Week 7.
D.J. Williams may be done for season | 10/11/2013 1:37 PM
Coach Marc Trestman stated Friday that MLB D.J. Williams (pectoral) may be lost for the season.
Brad Biggs on Twitter
Brandon Jacobs put Williams out of commission in Thursday night's game. The Bears' top backup middle linebacker is second-round rookie Jon Bostic.
D.J. Williams leaves game with chest injury | 10/10/2013 10:45 PM
Bears MLB D.J. Williams was forced from Thursday's game against the Giants with a chest injury, and will not return.
Jeff Dickerson on Twitter
Williams got rocked by 265-pound "running back" Brandon Jacobs. Jon Bostic is now in the game at middle linebacker for Chicago. Williams will have 10 days to get healthy for Week 7.
Bears to start D.J. Williams over Bostic | 09/07/2013 5:47 PM
The Chicago Tribune expects MLB D.J. Williams (calf) to start Sunday against the Bengals.
Williams returned to practice this week after missing the entire preseason with a calf injury. He'll likely get the start based on his veteran experience, but rookie Jon Bostic has been playing with the first-team defense throughout August and will see extensive playing time in sub-packages.
D.J. Williams returns to Bears practice | 09/02/2013 5:02 PM
Bears LB D.J. Williams (calf) returned to practice Monday.
Williams missed all of training camp after straining the calf on July 31. In the meantime, he also lost his starting job to second-round pick Jon Bostic.
D.J. Williams to begin practicing next week | 08/28/2013 8:58 PM
Bears MLB D.J. Williams (calf) could return to practice next week.
Williams has missed the entire preseason due to a calf injury suffered early in camp. When healthy, he'll likely return in a backup role to second-round rookie Jon Bostic.
D.J. Williams week to week with calf strain | 07/31/2013 12:31 PM
Bears MLB D.J. Williams (calf) is listed as week to week.
Michael C. Wright on Twitter
Williams, who was slated to open the season in Brian Urlacher's shoes, went down during Wednesday's practice. It's a chance for second-round rookie MLB Jon Bostic to get some run with the starters.
Bears to start D.J. Williams in the middle | 04/13/2013 12:01 PM
The Bears plan to start D.J. Williams at middle linebacker.
Williams told the Chicago Sun Times that the Bears approached him with two plans before he signed with the team. The two plans hinged on whether or not MLB Brian Urlacher remained with the team. With Urlacher released, Williams will man the middle and play an every-down role for the Bears. He's a strong LB2 option in IDP leagues.
D.J. Williams gets no guaranteed money | 04/08/2013 2:46 PM
Bears MLB D.J. Williams' one-year contract is heavily incentive laden and contains no guaranteed money.
The contract was structured smartly by GM Phil Emery, who is taking no risks on a player suspended twice last year. Williams got no signing bonus. His base salary of $900,000 is triggered only if he makes the 53-man roster. The deal can reach $1.75 million in max worth, but $100,000 is tied to offseason workout participation and another $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
Bears project DJ Williams to replace Urlacher | 03/26/2013 12:45 AM
The Chicago Sun Times confirms the Bears are projecting D.J. Williams as their new starting middle linebacker.
He theoretically has big shoes to fill as Brian Urlacher's successor, although those shoes grew smaller (and easier to replace) as Urlacher fell off a cliff in 2012. Williams turns 31 in July. Two suspensions -- one for PEDs and another for a DUI -- limited Williams to 160 snaps last season. Pro Football Focus still graded Williams as effective both in pass coverage and versus the run.
Bears signed LB D.J. Williams, formerly of the Broncos, to a one-year contract.
Williams, who turns 31 before the season, was a highly productive and versatile starter in Denver from 2004-2011, before multiple 2012 suspensions cost him a spot in the Broncos' rotation. He's played weak-side, strong-side, and middle linebacker in his career. Williams' Bears contract will keep him motivated. The one-year deal has a base value of $900,000 -- none of which is guaranteed -- and Williams can earn up to $1.75 million via incentives.
This move was a no-brainer. Williams was due $6 million in the final year of his deal, and he wasn't going to be a starter in Denver anymore. The 30-year-old is coming off a multi-suspension season that saw him register just 14 tackles in seven games. Denver will move forward with Wesley Woodyard, Von Miller, and likely Nate Irving as their starting linebackers. The Redskins, Texans, Raiders, Falcons, and Ravens have recently been mentioned as possible suitors.
Broncos to try and trade LB Williams | 03/03/2013 10:26 AM
The Denver Post says the Broncos will try and trade LB D.J. Williams once the new league year starts on March 12.
Williams is due $6 million in the final year of his deal, and he's coming off a multi-suspension season. Plus, he's 30 years old, so unloading that salary on somebody else will be difficult. If Denver can't, then they are fully expected to release Williams before April 15. The Post mentions the Texans, Redskins, Raiders, Falcons, and Ravens as suitors.
Cutting D.J. Williams would save $6 million | 02/10/2013 7:04 PM
The Broncos would save $6 million in salary cap space by releasing LB D.J. Williams.
It's the same number as his $6M base salary. Williams served two NFL suspensions in 2012, appearing in only seven games and starting just one. We'd look for the Broncos to cut ties with Williams as soon as this week.
D.J. Williams' Denver future up in the air | 02/06/2013 8:34 PM
The Denver Post expects the Broncos to either release LB D.J. Williams or request a "significant pay cut."
Williams was suspended for nine games in 2012, and made just one start in seven contests upon returning. He played only 131 regular season snaps. He's currently due an untenable $6 million in 2013.