Denver Broncos: Why This Season Will Be D.J. Williams' Last with the Team

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Correspondent IIJune 13, 2012

DENVER - NOVEMBER 14:  Linebacker DJ Williams #55 of the Denver Broncos takes the field against the Kansas City Chiefs at INVESCO Field at Mile High on November 14, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 49-29.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

D.J. Williams has been a member of the Denver Broncos since the 2004 season and has been a strong part of their defense, averaging 101 tackles a season in that time.

But the 2012 season will be his last for the team, if he even makes it through the season, and that will have nothing to do with him tweeting a picture from the team's playbook.

After failing a drug test last season, he is looking at a six game suspension to begin this campaign. Yes, Williams has said he will fight the case, but how many players win those battles? His best bet would be to get the suspension reduced.

Still, the Broncos will likely be without Williams for a few games, at least, and that will force them to look for another player to step up.

Behind Williams is a very capable backup in Wesley Woodyard, a player who has filled in for him before and has 232 career tackles.

The Broncos also drafted an intriguing rookie out of Kentucky named Danny Trevathan. On Wednesday, Trevathan was getting work with the starters in the team's mandatory minicamp.

The Broncos will need both of these guys to step up this season and I believe they will. Woodyard will provide an experienced presence, albeit a mostly unknown one, and Trevathan will be able to come in and pick up the slack when needed.

The performance of these two men, more than anything, will lead to Williams' departure.

After Williams serves whatever suspension he is saddled with, he might be able to come in and help the team for the rest of this season before heading into the final year of his contract next season.

I doubt the Broncos wait that long. Now is the time to move Williams, especially if they can get something for him. For that reason, I don't see the Broncos cutting him although it is a possibility.

One key factor in this is that the NFL has moved the trading deadline up from Week 6 to Week 8 and that goes into affect this season.

Could the Broncos find a trading partner willing to take Williams after his suspension ends? That's the possibility the organization really needs to consider, and after seeing the play of both Woodyard and Trevathan this season, not to mention the rest of the linebacking corps led by Von Miller, I feel that they will.