ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Monday released linebacker D.J. Williams and quarterback Caleb Hanie, Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway announced.
Williams, who was selected by the Broncos in the first round (17th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft, was tied with cornerback Champ Bailey as the longest-tenured player on the team.
“We appreciate the contributions made by D.J. Williams during his time with the Broncos,” Elway said. “He was a solid player with this team for a number of years, showing a lot of versatility at linebacker. Our organization wishes D.J. all the best going forward.”
In 127 career regular-season games (115 starts), Williams totaled 886 tackles (673 solo), 20.5 sacks (139.5 yds.), two interceptions (10 yds.), 41 passes defensed, 14 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. He opened five-of-six postseason contests for the Broncos, contributing 40 tackles (23 solo), 0.5 sacks (3.5 avg.) and three passes defensed.
Williams is one of just five NFL players during the last nine seasons to post at least 800 tackles and 20 sacks. He displayed his versatility by starting at the weakside, middle, strongside and inside positions during his tenure in Denver.
Hanie spent the 2012 season with the Broncos as the club’s third quarterback and was a gameday inactive during the regular season and playoffs.
The former Colorado State University standout was signed by Denver as an unrestricted free agent on April 28 following four seasons with the Chicago Bears.