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Seattle DL Alan Branch visits Bills

Former Seattle Seahawks' Alan Branch during a game against the Atlanta Falcons, Oct. 2, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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.


2013 free agency | Alan Branch
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

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