CHICAGO – The Chicago Bears have informed free agent middle linebacker D.J. Williams of the team’s intention to move in a different direction, and that Williams will not be offered a contract to return, according to source with direct knowledge of the situation.
Several teams have expressed interest in the 32-year old linebacker in advance of Tuesday’s official opening of free agency.
Williams started 10 games and recorded 73 tackles last year for the Bears before landing on injured reserve on Dec. 11 because of a nagging neck ailment.
The 11-year veteran played just six games in 2013 before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle.
Williams spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career (2004-2012) in Denver where he solidified himself as one of the Broncos’ top defenders, registering 100-plus tackles five times while moving around to play middle, strong side and weak side linebacker.
Williams overlapped with new Bears coach John Fox for two years in Denver, and even though Williams endorsed the Fox hire in Chicago, he expressed uncertainty over his future in Chicago during an interview with ESPN 1000’s “Carmen and Jurko Show” in January.
"I had a good relationship with John Fox," Williams said. "He was a great coach. I'm late in my career and I do want to go to a place where I'm comfortable. I feel like if I do talk to John Fox he would shoot me straight and tell me what my position would be on the team. I'm feeling pretty good. I had a neck injury earlier this year. It's one of those injuries that you just needed time for it to heal. Now I'm feeling good and ready to go."