According to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have signed former Broncos’ linebacker D.J. Williams to take over for Brian Urlacher.
Williams was a heck of a player in Denver before he found trouble. The Bears are now giving him a chance to turn things around.
Williams, 30, was cut by the Broncos after a season in which he faced two suspensions, a six game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing policy, and a three game suspension for his second arrest for driving under the influence.
He is a productive player with speed who had the second most tackles in the NFL in 2007. Scouts considered him one of the best linebacker talents on the market. He was a first round pick in 2004.
The contract Williams signed gives the Bears protection should Williams not stay on track. His base salary is $900,000, and none of his contract is guaranteed. He can earn a maximum of $1.75 million if he hits a workout bonus and a series of roster bonuses spread out over time.
The deal also represents an opportunity for the 6-foot-1, 242-pound Williams to get his career headed back in the right direction with a talented group of defensive players.