Denver Broncos: Is D.J. Williams More Trouble Than He's Worth?

Dan Allen@@DanVAllenCorrespondent IIJune 8, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 4: D.J. Williams #55 of the Denver Broncos looks on during the game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams has been in the news often this offseason. Perhaps a bit too often, in fact.

After a history of trouble off the field—including multiple DWI arrests and receiving a suspension for performance-enhancing drug use—Williams was already on thin ice with management. Williams was previously stripped of his captain status in 2010 following his latest DWI incident.

Williams has once again seen his name in the media for yet another negative reason. On Friday, Williams shocked Broncos management by posting numerous defensive plays on Twitter while announcing he would have to learn a new position for the 2012 season.

Already facing a six-game suspension to begin the 2012 season, Williams could now see disciplinary action from Denver after acting out off the field once again.

It is with this news that the question must be asked: is D.J. Williams more trouble than he's worth for the Denver Broncos?

Williams has been one of Denver's most consistent defensive players since becoming a starter as a rookie in 2004. In eight seasons, Williams has racked up 810 tackles, 20.5 sacks and 13 forced fumbles. That's an average of over 100 tackles per season—quite the impressive feat.

However, 2012 will mark the second consecutive season that Williams missed time to start the season, having missed the first three weeks of 2011 due to injury. Williams did avoid a suspension from the NFL for both DWI incidents, but still faces heavy scrutiny in the aftermath. The soon-to-be 30-year-old has angered management in both the Josh McDaniels era, and with his latest stunt, the budding John Fox/John Elway era.

Denver is prepared for the loss of Williams in 2012 with linebackers Von Miller, Joe Mays and Wesley Woodyard to start while Williams misses time under suspension. Denver fared decently without Williams early on in 2011 during his three-game suspension, with rookie Miller quickly making an impact, and both Mays and Woodyard stepping up to fill the void.

Denver also added Danny Trevathan in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and second-year linebacker Nate Irving is waiting in the wings.

The coaching staff must be asking themselves at this point whether Williams' talent is worth the continuing problems off the field if the linebacker corps can hold up without him.