Update [2007-8-22 12:3:46 by Brian G]: This is now an official signing. Though I have yet to run across any terms to the deal, I'm guessing that it's a one-year accord that will keep Wallace in Buffalo through this season. I'll update it further as I hear it.
A recent report from the Albany Times Union claims that the Bills are close to signing former Panther DE Al Wallace. According to Wallace's agent, Jerrold Colton, "We're optimistic that we'll be able to work things out and he'll be a Buffalo Bill."
The 33-year old, seven-year veteran spent the last few seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where he was a primary backup to Julius Peppers and Mike Rucker. Wallace, whose experience in a Carolina defensive system that, like Buffalo's, puts defensive end pressure at a premium, seems like as good a fit at the position as is available for a team desperate for defensive end depth.
According to the report linked above, Wallace worked out with the Bills at St. John Fisher college early yesterday, where he impressed enough for the Bills to start negotiations immediately.
Wallace is a stopgap, to be sure, but he's a good signing for the time being. The Bills simply cannot go into the regular season's first four games without a reserve defensive end that has had game experience at this level. Eric Powell and C.J. Ah You are talented young players, but have combined for exactly zero games played in the NFL. Wallace, a 6'5", 275-pound end who has recorded 17 career sacks in his reserve role, has that necessary experience. His frame also makes him a candidate to play inside at tackle on pass downs, something that both Ryan Denney (broken foot) and Anthony Hargrove (suspension) did for the team last year.
Personally, I think the Wallace signing brings a huge level of comfort back to the DE corps for the Bills. That's something that we've gone a week without since Denney's foot broke, leaving him out of the lineup for an indefinite (but lengthy) period of time. This is a very solid move for the Bills organization.
Thoughts on this deal?