Broncos key recent addition sniped away by the Titans

Denver Broncos roster - Avery Williamson. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos roster - Avery Williamson. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos made a move to sign Avery Williamson at linebacker, but the Tennessee Titans swooped in and sniped him away.

After the Josey Jewell injury, the Denver Broncos decided to promote from within and let second-year player Justin Strnad fill his starting role next to Alexander Johnson at inside linebacker. Although Strnad has done fairly well, he doesn’t play the run nearly as well as Jewell and that was an area the Broncos saw an opportunity to upgrade.

The team made the move to sign veteran Avery Williamson to the practice squad and obviously a player like that would have plans to be added to the active roster eventually.

The team recently also signed wide receiver John Brown to the practice squad with similar intentions.

Titans sniped away a key addition for Broncos in LB Avery Williamson

Whether they played on nostalgia or pitched a tremendous immediate opportunity, the Tennessee Titans swooped in and stole Williamson away from the Denver Broncos, signing him to their 53-man roster.

Williamson was originally drafted into the NFL in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Titans, so he’s going back where his career really took off for four years.

After his four years in Tennessee, Williamson signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets, and last year he was traded in-season to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It’s not like the Denver Broncos were acquiring an All-Pro at the linebacker position, but Williamson is basically a guaranteed 100 tackle type of player even at this stage of his career, and he could have allowed the Broncos to potentially back Justin Strnad’s role off from full-time to part-time.

Although teams are allowed to protect practice squad players, Williamson apparently asked for and was granted his release off of the Broncos’ practice squad so he could sign with the Titans.

A member of the Broncos for a handful of days, how will you best remember the Avery Williamson era?

In all seriousness, it’s a bummer to see Williamson go. In the time between Denver adding him to the practice squad and his decision to sign with the Tennessee Titans, a younger and perhaps more attractive option became available when the Dallas Cowboys cut Jaylon Smith.

Smith signed with the Green Bay Packers, and perhaps would have preferred signing there regardless of Denver’s interest, but you never know.

When the Broncos worked out Avery Williamson, they also worked out Dylan Cole, a younger player from the class of 2017 whose athletic metrics are more “on brand” with the other recent additions George Paton has made.

Cole has mostly been a special teams player in the NFL, however, while Williamson is an established starter. Having another established starter next to Alexander Johnson might have been a nice luxury for the Broncos, but for the time being, that possibility has vanished.

Williamson has been poached by the Titans, and Denver filled out its practice squad by bringing back Rojesterman “The Roster Man” Farris, a defensive back. Once John Brown is ultimately promoted, it will be interesting to see if George Paton perhaps makes another move at the linebacker position to add a veteran.