Denver Broncos release D.J. Williams, Caleb Hanie

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Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams. Photo:

DENVER — The Denver Broncos released linebacker D.J. Williams and quarterback Caleb Hanie Monday, just one day before free agency begins in the NFL.

Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway made the announcement.

Williams was a first round draft choice for Denver in 2004. He had been with the Broncos for nine seasons and was tied with Champ Bailey as being with the team the longest as far as current players.

“We appreciate the contributions made by D.J. Williams during his time with the Broncos,” Elway said. “He was a solid player with this team for a number of years, showing a lot of versatility at linebacker. Our organization wishes D.J. all the best going forward.”

Williams was only one of five NFL players during the last nine seasons to make at least 800 tackles and 20 sacks.

Caleb Hanie was Denver’s third quarterback in 2012. The former Colorado State University standout quarterback was signed by Denver in April 2012 after playing four seasons for the Chicago Bears.

The release of Williams and Hanie saves Denver about $7.25 million on the salary cap.