By Mark Gaughan
(UPDATED) Free-agent defensive lineman Alan Branch is visiting the Buffalo Bills today, coach Doug Marrone confirmed this morning.
Branch is a stout run-stuffer who started the past two seasons for the Seattle Seahawks. Adding him would help the Bills' efforts to play a 3-4 defensive front. The Bills have Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams returning as starters at defensive tackle.
In a 3-4 front, Mario Williams can play outside linebacker opposite newly acquired Manny Lawson. The next best down lineman on the roster is Alex Carrington, who served a backup defensive tackle role last season. Veteran Spencer Johnson saw the fourth most playing time at DT last season. He's 31, he's a free agent, and he's not expected to be back with the Bills. The Bills also have big Torell Troup coming back. He missed all last season after having back surgery.
Branch is a six-year veteran. He was a backup his first four years in Arizona. He's a 6-foot-6, 324-pounder who was a second-round pick of the Cardinals out of Michigan in 2007. His strength is run-stopping. He played about 55 percent of the snaps for the Seahawks the past two seasons. He was a bit more effective in 2011 than in 2012.
Branch's contract with Seattle paid him $3.5 million a year. The Bills had interest in Jets unrestricted free-agent down lineman Mike DeVito early in free agency but he was quickly signed by Kansas City.
tagged2013 free agency | Alan Branch