William has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, NFL.com reports.
Williams' suspension comes just one day after fellow Bills running back Jonathan Williams was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Additionally, Williams' poor conditioning was called out by coach Rex Ryan last month, so his suspension only compounds an unimpressive first NFL offseason. After posting 5.6 yards per carry and scoring nine touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie, Williams now won't be eligible to play until Week 5 against the Rams. Until then, Mike Gillislee and the aforementioned Williams will have the opportunity to earn valuable touches behind starter LeSean McCoy (ankle).
Lawson signed his rookie contract Monday, BuffaloBills.com reports.
The real question is how much time Lawson's recent shoulder surgery ends up costing him during the first year of his contract. Right now, the team seems to still love the value they got in the middle of the first round, and Lawson's attitude in offseason practices seems to be impressing anyone. However, it may be awhile before we see him in action again. Manny Lawson will serve as the placeholder for Shaq Lawson's presumed starting OLB spot while the rookie continues to heal.
While Watkins (foot) says he's "feeling great," he's still unsure as to when he'll be able to return to the practice field, ESPN's Mike Rodak reports. "I don't know how much I'm gonna be doing or when I'm gonna be on the field, but I'm definitely going to be active and engaged," Watkins said Tuesday. "I don't know what the schedule is like with me being on the field competing-wise, but I'm right where I need to be at -- feeling good, healthy. Nothing is bothering me. Just really prepare for whatever they do."
No one around the team expected Watkins to come in at 100 percent when camp opens up in a couple of weeks. He'll be such a high pick in leagues, his status should be monitored regularly during the end of the summer so you know if the high-upside (yet injury prone) third-year wideout is full-go for Week 1. With the Bills running back situation all of a sudden being a question mark, you can bet the team would love to see much of the offense flow through Watkins and Tyrod Taylor.
Hughes finished the 2015 season with 52 tackles, five sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played in all 16 games for the fourth straight season, while seeing action on 92.5 percent of the defensive snaps.
Hughes picked up 67 points in standard IDP scoring after putting up 90 the previous season, and that's mostly due to the drop in sacks. If your league counts passes defensed, he closed that gap a bit. In truth, almost every member of the Bills' defensive line struggled with Rex Ryan's new system, and there's little reason Hughes can't get back to double-digit sacks in 2016 as his familiarity in a complex scheme grows. Hughes also took some dumb penalties in 2015, and it won't sit well with the coaching staff if he doesn't clean that up permanently.
Ellison (knee) anticipates a full recovery by training camp, the Twin Cities-Pioneer Press reports.
Ellison suffered a torn patellar tendon in last year's season finale against the Packers, but hasn't reported any setbacks in his recovery and anticipates being 100 percent for training camp. He enters camp firmly behind Kyle Rudolph and MyCole Pruitt on the depth chart.
Joseph (foot) will have toe surgery during the offseason, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports
This shouldn't come as any surprise, given that Joseph dealt with a foot injury throughout the entire second half of the season. He missed Weeks 12-16, but with 56 tackles in just 12 games, Joseph cemented his reputation as one of the league's better run-stopping interior linemen. He only has 12.5 sacks in 81 career games.
Exum could be in the mix to win a starting safety job next to Harrison Smith after returning from rib and shoulder injuries during spring practice, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
He mostly worked with the second- and third-string defense, but he could work his way into the mix for playing time at strong safety with an impressive showing at training camp. Exum missed time last year with a knee injury and spent the final few weeks on injured reserve with a fractured rib and an AC joint injury. He'll compete with Andrew Sendejo, Michael Griffin, Anthony Harris and 2016 seventh-round draft pick Jayron Kearse.