Bears find a replacement for Urlacher in D.J. Williams

The Bears announced the signing of D.J. Williams on Friday.

Official Release from the Bears:

“We are happy to welcome D.J. to the Bears and are excited to start working with him,” Bears General Manager Phil Emery said. “This is a great opportunity for D.J. to restart his career after coming off suspension for part of the 2012 season. We see a player that has very good athletic upside who can contribute immediately at ‘Mike’ (middle) linebacker. He is also a versatile player who has played both outside linebacker positions, giving us flexibility in the draft.”

The 6-1, 242-pound Williams has started 115 of 127 games played in nine seasons (2004-12) with Denver after being selected 17th overall by the Broncos during the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (FL). He started at the weakside (39), inside (31), strongside (29) and middle (16) linebacker positions for the Broncos during his career, recording 816 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 38 pass break ups and two interceptions. His 816 tackles are 10th in the NFL since 2004 and he is one of five players to record 800 tackles and 20 sacks since entering the league.

Williams started five of six postseason contests for Denver, recording 32 tackles, three pass break ups and a half sack.

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