Karlos Williams was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL Draft with low expectations after off-the-field issues plagued his time in college at Florida State.
However, when given a regular opportunity to play by Rex Ryan in Buffalo last season, Williams excelled. In 11 games (just three starts) Karlos tallied 517 rushing yards over 93 carriers (5.6 yards per carry) and a remarkable seven rushing touchdowns to go along with 11 receptions for 96 yards and two TDs in the pass attack.
Sadly, Karlos began practicing some of the same poor habits he had in college after returning home to Florida at season’s end. Williams is rumored to have tested positive for marijuana multiple times over the offseason and was recently handed a four-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s office for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Karlos missed most — if not all — of Buffalo’s offseason training activities and is said to have arrived in camp in absolutely terrible shape. According to Sal Maiorana of USA Today, Williams was given a number of chances to get his act together and continuously neglected to do so, which ultimately led to his release on Saturday.
“Ryan gave Williams four practices to prove he was making progress, and apparently he wasn’t moved. There was no remorse about cutting Williams when he said after the game, “I’m going to say this — every decision that is made, is made on three factors: The team first, the team second, and the team third, and that’s all I’ll say about it. What’s in the past is in the past and our focus will be on the men on this team.”
Williams clearly has some soul searching to do before he should start thinking about getting back on the field. But at just 23-years-old and after demonstrating immense potential in his rookie season, you can bet your bottom dollar there are plenty of teams out there that will be willing to give Karlos a chance.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five potential landing spots for Williams.
After his disappointing 2015 rookie campaign, the Detroit Lions simply have no clue what they should expect from Ameer Abdullah this season. Theo Riddick possesses talent but is more of a threat catching passes out of the backfield than he is carrying the ball. Thus, Detroit needs to get Matthew Stafford and Co. some help on offense, and must consider rolling the dice on Karlos.
The Washington Redskins let Alfred Morris join the Dallas Cowboys over the offseason in favor of showcasing Matt Jones. Unfortunately for Redskins fans, players, coaches, and front office folk alike, Jones suffered a shoulder injury during Week 2 of the preseason and is out indefinitely. Washington doesn’t appear to have a surefire answer on its roster and must consider bringing Williams in.
The Miami Dolphins are hoping the combination of the oft-injured veteran Arian Foster and unproven NFL sophomore Jay Ajayi will be enough at running back in 2016, but it simply may not be the case. Williams would fit in perfectly as a red zone, goal line, and short yardage power back in South Beach, and the Dolphins would be absolutely foolish not to attempt to obtain his services.
Let’s be honest: Frank Gore’s getting old in running back years (33), and the Indianapolis Colts probably can’t rely on him for a ton of production in 2016. While I firmly believe Jordan Todman is underrated and could have a solid campaign for the Colts, they must continue to add talent to their running back corps and Williams could be the answer.
New England Patriots
Now that scat back Dion Lewis needs a second procedure for the torn ACL he suffered last season, the New England Patriots make for an interesting landing spot for Karlos. Paired with the bruiser LeGarrette Blount, the Patriots could have one of the most powerful one-two punches in the league at running back with Williams in town. And if anyone knows how to get the most out of oft-troubled players, it’s Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]