It’s no secret that the running back situation in Philadelphia is a bit up in the air as we head into the offseason. There’s a host of young rushers still under contract, Jay Ajayi’s future with the team is unknown, and there’s been no shortage of rumors surrounding free agents like Le’Veon Bell, and even some former Eagles like LeSean McCoy, LeGarrette Blount and Kenjon Barner.
Earlier this offseason there was also speculation that the team could be interested in recently suspended/dropped Kareem Hunt — who ended up being signed by the Browns — which makes running back Karlos Williams being reinstated by the league this week somewhat intriguing.
Ex-#Bills RB Karlos Williams, who had been serving a suspension for violations of the substance abuse policy since March 8, 2017, was conditionally reinstated yesterday, source said. The letter from the NFL stated he was humbled and committed to not squandering his second chance.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 21, 2019
Williams was a beast his rookie season with the Bills in 2015, setting a league record for touchdowns in his first six career games, and in the 11 games he played that year, notched 93 carries for 517 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 11 receptions for 96 yards and two more scores.
The 2015 fifth-round pick even averaged 5.6 yards per attempt his first season. By comparison, that tops all of the Eagles rushers from 2018: Josh Adams (4.3 y/a), Wendell Smallwood (4.2 y/a), Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles (4.1 y/a), and Corey Clement (3.8 y/a).
Despite Williams having a bright future, he was suspended by the Bills the following offseason, July 2016, for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, only to eventually be cut by the team that drafted him in late-August. He was eventually signed to the Steelers practice squad in October 2016, but by the end of November was serving a 10-game suspension for violating the same league rule.
Subsequently, he was cut by Pittsburgh in March 2017, when the running back was suspended for yet another drug violation, which had dragged on through this week’s reinstatement.
That means it’s been over three years since Williams has played in an NFL game, and whether he’s still in football shape and what kind of training he’s been doing in the years since is unknown. But, he is welcome to join a team this offseason thanks to his conditional reinstatement, which begs just one question: Which squad will take a chance on the formerly potential-filled, and only 25-year old, running back?
If anything, you’d expect him to accept a somewhat low and short-term “prove-it” deal which could certainly benefit the Eagles given their cap-space situation. But whether they are willing to bring in someone who — like others on the roster — will need development, or rather look for someone with proven experience, is yet to be seen.
We all know that Howie Roseman can be full of surprises, though.
Should the Eagles take a chance on Karlos Williams?
This poll is closed
They should wait until after the draft to decide