Broncos pass on Odell Beckham Jr., but bring back veteran linebacker

Denver Broncos, Avery Williamson. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Avery Williamson. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos passed on Odell Beckham Jr. and his remaining $7.25 million on waivers, but they did bring back a veteran linebacker.

For the first time in his NFL career, star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a free agent. The Denver Broncos, despite my best efforts to make a case, let him pass through waivers unclaimed, as did every other NFL team.

Beckham will now have the chance to choose his next NFL destination, and early expectations are he likes the thought of joining Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams with the Green Bay Packers. We’ll see what transpires.

For the time being, the Broncos are sticking with the crew they have at the wide receiver position, but they did make a move that nobody really saw coming…

Broncos pass on Odell Beckham Jr., but bring back veteran linebacker

Avery Williamson, who had previously signed with the Denver Broncos to the practice squad this season, somewhat surprisingly bolted for the Tennessee Titans right when it seemed the Broncos could really use his help.

As fate would have it, general manager George Paton wound up striking a deal with the Los Angeles Rams to acquire Kenny Young, who has been immediately inserted into the starting lineup, and they are getting Williamson back, anyway.

The injuries this season to Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson have forced the Denver Broncos to get quite creative at the linebacker position and they’ve had a number of different starting combinations, not to mention combinations at the position during games as injuries have occurred.

Just about everyone on the 53-man roster or practice squad at the off-ball linebacker position has had to play at one point or another for the Broncos this season, which is why it was so odd that Williamson, who had a clear path to a role in Denver, chose to appease the nostalgic part of himself by signing on with the Titans, who may have been the better team at the time but also had no really clear path to playing time.

Now that he’s back in Denver, it will be interesting to see what role the Broncos and Vic Fangio have in store for the veteran linebacker.

Since Williamson bolted for the Tennessee Titans, the Broncos have added the aforementioned Kenny Young, and they’ve also inserted promising rookie Baron Browning into the starting lineup with extremely favorable results thus far.

Still, the team needs depth, and they’re clearly making sure things go slowly with Justin Strnad, who looked like he may have been drinking from a fire hose early in the season.

Regardless of what has transpired over the last month, it’s great that the Broncos have Williamson back in the fold. The war of attrition in the NFL cannot be overstated and you’re always one injury away.

George Paton seems to understand that very well and unlike in years prior, Denver is being proactive at positions they know they will eventually need depth rather than reactive when situations arise down the line.