It was just announced that the Buffalo Bills have come to terms with defensive lineman Alan Branch on a $3 million deal for the 2013 season that has incentives that could add up to an additional $350,000. Branch is an absolute monster of a man at 6′ 6″ 325 lbs. and can play nose tackle. He can even play the five tech defensive end like he did for the Seattle Seahawks with Red Bryant depending on the scheme they are planning on running under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine Jr. While his stats will not blow most people away as he’s only had 132 total tackles and eight sacks, if he just clogs up opposing offensive lines so Mario Williams and Manny Lawson can get to the quarterback, he will be worth the money.
Branch was a second round pick for the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 who was inconsistent there at best. However, he fell into a great niche with the Seahawks as they had a similar type player there in Red Bryant who would be on rotation with him for the last two seasons. With this signing, it is highly unlikely that the Bills go for a player that plays on the defensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft unless a pure pass rusher falls in their laps such as Dion Jordan or maybe even Ezekiel Ansah.This signing also proves that free agency isn’t always won on day one, and key players can be added later on and sometimes fly under the radar. All in all, this could be looked at as an excellent signing for the Bills as if he doesn’t pan out, Branch simply will not get a second contract with the team. Best case scenario for the team is if he does perform extremely well and earns a huge contract elsewhere, the Bills will earn a nice compensation pick for the 2015 NFL Draft for his loss of service. As they say, time will ultimately tell with this signing.