- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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New Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams didn't officially sign his contract until last Thursday, and I've finally gotten a look at the specifics via ESPN Stats & Information resources. The structure of Williams' one-year, $1.75 million deal further confirms that the Bears don't view him as a long-term replacement for Brian Urlacher.
The contract does not include any guaranteed money. Williams' base salary is $900,000, and there are two sets of roster bonuses that will pay him $23,437 for every game he is on the 53-man roster and another $23,437 each time he is on the game-day 46-man roster. So if he is active for all 16 games, those roster bonuses would total $750,000.
There is also a $100,000 workout bonus tied to offseason work.
There are reasons why Williams was available for such a relative bargain. Most notably, he only played seven games last season for the Denver Broncos because of a pair of suspensions. But the Bears still got what Matt Bowen, writing for ESPN Insider, suggests will be a 2013 upgrade over Urlacher because of Williams' "short area change-of-direction skills and speed to the ball."
As with any business, NFL teams don't want to make any more of a financial commitment than they have to. In Williams' case, the only thing the Bears are required to do is devote a low salary-cap figure ($1.328 million). And as we noted earlier Monday, the Bears are hosting a potentially longer-term answer at the position in Kansas State's Arthur Brown. The Bears have kept all options open.
New Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams didn't officially sign his contract until last Thursday, and I've finally gotten a look at the specifics via ESPN Stats & Information resources.