Good Morning, Broncos fans! Details have finally emerged regarding D.J. Williams's six-game suspension for failing a league drug test.
And it's a wonder he's only been hit with a six-game ban.
Okay, so he probably wasn't submitting horse piss, as we've joked about here. But he might as well have, considering the circumstances.
Here's what happened: D.J. provided a urine sample last August which was split up and tested for PEDs and recreational drugs. The more thorough PED test turned up no endogenous (naturally occurring) steroids, hence the "non-human urine" accusation.
A sample that D.J. provided the very next month turned up the same results - non-human urine.
In November, things became more ridiculous, as a specimen collector said that while purportedly pissing into a cup, Williams dropped a bottle and then kicked it toward his locker.
Naturally, the collector asked for the bottle. But according to the collector's testimony, D.J. and team trainer Steve "Greek" Antonopulos gave the collector a bottle that was a different color than the one he had seen D.J. drop.
We're talking about three separate damning incidents here, and the angle Williams's attorney is taking is to challenge the league's chain-of-custody practices. Sounds ludicrous, but hey - it worked for Ryan Braun, right?
In the past, we've speculated that D.J. might have been cut by now if the Broncos had better depth at linebacker. But the reality is that they still have plenty of time to make that very decision. Williams doesn't appear to have any guarantees left in his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $5M in salary this season, and $6M in 2013. For cap purposes, it appears he counts for another $900K each year on top of those salaries.
As a vested veteran who has accrued more than four NFL seasons, D.J.'s salary essentially becomes guaranteed, but not until Week 1 of the season, provided he's actually on the roster. We suppose the question at this point is whether vested veterans who are serving league suspensions still receive this guarantee. Meaning, would the Broncos have to cut him before Week 1, or could they cut him during the season but before his suspension is up, and avoid paying D.J. and the cap hit? Probably not, but we'll see what we can find out.
Anyway, the opener isn't until September 9, and final cuts are probably September 1 or 2, so presumably the team will have until then to make a decision on D.J.
Here's hoping enough younger linebackers impress the coaching staff to the point where they feel comfortable letting D.J. and his antics move on. Because, really, it's all gotten quite old.
And don't forget - he's still got a DUI trial coming in August.
In an interview with NFL.com, Demaryius Thomas says the biggest difference in working with Peyton Manning is the quickened pace of practice.
Manning paid $4.575M for a 16,000-square foot home in Cherry Hills Village, and he was at the ESPYs last night to introduce legendary Lady Vols coach Pat Summit, who received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The Tebow-to-Thomas gamewinner won the ESPY for Best Moment, and Teebs told Manning to "take care of" his old Denver teammates.
New strength coach Luke Richesson is of course looking for ways to help the Broncos finish their seasons better, and he thinks the team should better take advantage of the MH altitude.
Kevin Fishbain figures the Broncos' rushing attack will fall off less than is generally expected, although why does having a 1,000-yard runner mean your team did well running the ball? 1,000 = 16 x 62.5, and there have been plenty of 1,000-yard rushers on teams that sucked at running the ball, as I was just discussing with my pal Peyton Hillis.
Alex Marvez includes Elway/Tebow, Manning/Colts, Cutler/Broncos, and Shanny/McNabb among the most notable recent NFL divorces.
Former Carolina and Washington running back Stephen Davis is joining the concussion-related lawsuits against the league, and he says he's already suffering short-term memory loss at the age of 38. Former Bears safety Shaun Gayle is also suing the league, and he says he's suffering from symptoms of CTE.
The NFL filed a grievance with the NFLPA demanding that Jonathan Vilma drop his lawsuit against the Ginger Hammer.
Judge David Doty will hear arguments in September regarding the NFLPA's accusation that the league's owners colluded to restrict salaries in the uncapped year.
The Worldwide Leader has given new multiyear deals to Adam Schefter, John Clayton, Mel Kiper, and Ed Werder.
Chase Stuart examines 30 years of sack data and finds that relative to the years they played, Denver stars Simon Fletcher (22), Neil Smith (28), Elvis Dumervil (35), and one-time Broncos Simeon Rice (6) rank among the top 50 pass rushers.
Sam Monson reviews a Tyvon Branch tackle of LDT that in many ways resembles the Ben Watson hit on Champ Bailey after his pick of Tom Brady in the 2005 playoffs.
Matt Bowen explains how to defend against the fade route in the end zone; Jack Bechta says starting foundations, opening restaurants, and heading to Vegas are among the most common ways NFL players blow their income.
Russ Lande thinks WR Josh Gordon is worth a third- or fourth-round pick in tomorrow's supplemental draft.
The CCT put together a 15-question quiz on Raiders history. I got nine correct, but at least half of those were on pure guesses.
Jonathan Bales offers a healthy dose of advice for how to approach your fantasy draft.
In his latest Funbag, Drew Magary exposes the worst (best?) TP brand relative to dingleberries and weighs the idea of teaching one's kids naughty language.
Fishing, anyone? Anyone?