It came as something of a surprise to find out the Buffalo Bills released running back Karlos Williams, who is now on the waiver wire, with teams like the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts looking to sign him.
Williams, entering his second NFL season, will be suspended for the first four games of the season due to a substance abuse violation. The Bills released him because he struggled to stay in shape during the offseason, with his weight ballooning to 261 lbs. After he managed to trim down on the excess weight, he began to rise in pounds once more, which made the Bills think he isn’t very serious about succeeding in the NFL.
Williams, who starred for Florida State during his college years, winning the last BCS era national championship and helping the Seminoles to three consecutive ACC titles, was a second round pick by the Bills in 2015, and was used to his specific strengths quite successfully during his rookie year, rushing for 517 yards on 93 carries, scoring 7 touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 96 and two touchdowns, becoming one of just two players in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of his first six games in the league.
Williams has some off-the-field problems, including a domestic abuse investigation that amounted to nothing from his days in Florida, and the four game suspension. But considering how little the financial risk is with him (signing bonus will accelerate onto Buffalo’s cap), it’s going to be a surprise if he hits free agency before someone claims him off the waiver wire.
The Patriots just heard that Dion Lewis will be out for at least 8 weeks due to another knee surgery. The Colts don’t have very good backup behind the 33-year old Frank Gore. The Eagles continue their running back by committee approach, and Williams can do very well in their offensive system. The Browns seem to be all about giving problematic players a chance, and could use Williams’ help as they strive to improve the overall footballing quality of the team. These four teams are on the top of the list, but it seems that about half the NFL is somewhat looking into the situation, assessing how Williams can help them out.