Williams, a first-round pick in 2004, simply wore out his welcome. He was suspended for a total of nine games in 2012, and when he returned, he was merely a backup.
Wesley Woodyard received the chance to play full time thanks to Williams’ suspension. Williams had a solid overall career in Denver, but he had too many off–field problems for it be worthwhile to keep him.
Williams, 30, will likely get some interest around the league. Williams is very versatile, so he can play virtually any linebacker spot and could probably start for the next couple of years. A potential landing spot could be Oakland, because the Raiders need a linebacker and Williams played for Oakland coach Dennis Allen when Allen was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator in 2011. Also, Williams is from the Bay Area and could be interested in a return.
Denver also cut quarterback Caleb Hanie. Denver saved $6 million by cutting Williams and $1.5 million in cutting Hanie. The Broncos are still trying to cut back Elvis Dumervil's pay. If Dumervil doesn’t agree -- and he has been hesitating -- the pass-rusher could be released.
As for as Hanie goes, his release was expected. He was the No. 3 quarterback. The Broncos like second-year quarterback Brock Osweiler as Peyton Manning’s backup. Expect Denver to add a young, cheap No. 3 quarterback.
In other AFC West notes:
The Chiefs are reportedly interested in Seattle’s Jason Jones. He’d probably play inside in a 3-4 defense and be a rotational player.
Beanie Wells, cut by Arizona on Monday, fits the Chargers' mold for a running back. But I’m not sure we’d see a Ken Whisenhunt-Wells reunion.