Denver Broncos: Moves Involving Williams, Bruton the Right Ones

Travis WakemanFeatured Columnist IVMarch 12, 2013

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Free safety David Bruton #30 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after blocking a punt by punter Shane Lechler #9 of the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 37-6.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

On the eve of the NFL free-agent signing period, the Denver Broncos made two moves that were both the correct ones to make.

First, they re-signed David Bruton to a three-year, $4.5 million contract, preventing him from hitting the open market, according to the Denver Post.

Bruton, a fourth-round pick in 2009 out of Notre Dame, has 65 career tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. But what makes him invaluable to the team are his contributions on the special teams unit.

The Broncos needed to keep Bruton around to have that continuity on special teams, and on Monday, they made sure of that.

In a much bigger, yet not all that surprising move, the team decided to part ways with veteran linebacker D.J. Williams, a move that has been expected for awhile.

Williams missed much of the 2012 season due to a league-mandated suspension and finished the year with just 14 tackles. But perhaps more than anything, the emergence of the man who replaced him, Wesley Woodyard, is what made the decision to let Williams go that much easier.

Williams, a first-round draft pick in 2004, was scheduled to make $6 million in 2013. That was too much money for the Broncos to pay a guy who wasn't even going to be in the starting lineup.

Williams closes his Broncos career out with 824 tackles, 20.5 sacks and two interceptions.

There may be some belief out there that the team could have plugged Williams into the middle linebacker position that they are so desperately in need of at the moment, but releasing him was the right decision.

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio had one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL last season with Woodyard, Von Miller and an aging Keith Brooking.

The team can now look forward to free agency opening on Tuesday, and they figure to be in the market for a running back, defensive tackle and maybe even a new defensive end.

As the Denver Post reported late Monday night, Elvis Dumervil is requesting his release if the team doesn't drop its demand for a cut in pay. That decision will prove to be a much tougher one for John Elway and the rest of the Denver front office, and it will be one that could be key to the upcoming season.

Let the free-agent frenzy begin.