2:46pm: Doug Whaley told media — including Rodak — the team’s decision to cut Williams was indeed performance-related. The fourth-year GM said Williams came into camp “behind the eight ball” due to being overweight.
1:43pm: The since-cut running back thanked the Bills in an Instagram post.
1:40pm: Williams’ weight looks to have been the decisive factor here, rather than Bills management wanting to send a message to the locker room. Due to his struggles to get down to his playing weight, he hovered behind both Bush and Jonathan Williams, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
1:10pm: The Bills have reversed course on Karlos Williams. Buffalo’s backup running back in 2015, Williams won’t receive a chance to bounce back from the offseason suspension he drew, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) that the Bills cut Williams.
Williams incurred a four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy in July and wouldn’t have been eligible to play until October 9 for the Bills.
The team voiced support for the talented ball-carrier at the time but is now to be moving in a different direction as the preseason’s in full swing.
“As an organization, we are disappointed that Karlos has put himself in this situation,” the Bills said last month. “Poor decisions such as this affect not only the individual, but the entire Bills organization. We will continue to work with Karlos through the various player programs we provide to assist him in making better decisions moving forward.”
Rex Ryan himself said the Bills were not going to give up on Williams. Since this suspension was announced, the Bills have endured some misfortune despite the news LeSean McCoy wouldn’t be suspended. Shaq Lawson will miss regular-season time, and Reggie Ragland is now out for the season. Marcell Dareus also drew a four-game suspension.
Williams reported to minicamp overweight, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. Schefter tweets Williams at one point this offseason ballooned up to 261 pounds after being listed at 229 last year. That said, he should generate interest after a standout rookie season as a backup on a per-play basis. The 2015 fifth-round pick averaged 5.6 yards per carry and rushed for seven touchdowns, making three starts in relief of McCoy and helping out the Bills’ run-oriented attack.
The backfield depth chart for possibly the league’s most run-centric team weakens as a result of this move. But the Bills, while not adding anyone who is an obvious upgrade on Williams, did bring in fifth-rounder Jonathan Williams and also signed Reggie Bush after Karlos Williams’ suspension became known. Buffalo also brought back Dan Herron this offseason.
Williams was just one of two players in NFL history to score a touchdown in the first six games of his career. He finished with 613 yards from scrimmage and nine TDs on just 104 touches.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.