In the wake of the decision by RB Karlos Williams to come to spring camp and training camp out of shape followed by his four-game suspension by the NFL for violation of the league's substance abuse policy, the Bills have released the second-year running back.
The announcement came just before the team's second preseason game Saturday afternoon against the Giants. Williams had a breakout rookie season in which he tied for the team lead in touchdowns with nine with Sammy Watkins. Off the field issues however, proved hard to ignore.
Those issues set Williams back on the field allowing other backs on the roster to outperform him through the first three weeks of training camp. That development prompted the Bills to move forward with the extraordinary depth of talent they have at the running back position.
"I've always said this is a performance based business and the release of Karlos Williams was strictly performance based," said Bills GM Doug Whaley. "He came in behind the eight ball and never caught up and there was other guys on the roster that moved ahead of him. So in light of that we thought, why hold on to him, why don't we give him a chance to maybe find another job out there in the league? We weren't going to hold on to him to the end knowing he wasn't going to make the team.
"If he's not out there being able to perform and he can't perform at the level that we expect him to then that's on him. I always say the information makes the decision and the information was he wasn't ready to play and guys underneath him surpassed him."
With Williams no longer on the roster there is a big opportunity for the other backs who sit behind feature back LeSean McCoy. Reggie Bush, Mike Gillislee, Boom Herron, James Wilder Jr. and rookie fifth-round pick Jonathan Williams will all have more of an opportunity to move up the team's depth chart.
In terms of playing style Williams and Wilder Jr. most closely represent the kind of game that Karlos Williams brought to the field. A physical style with some elusiveness.