The Buffalo Bills are moving full-throttle into the second wave of NFL free agency, as CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora tweets that the Bills are hosting free agent defensive tackle Alan Branch on Tuesday - and that it "sounds like" the Bills are "pretty interested in getting something done."
Branch, 28, is a seventh-year veteran out of Michigan that was a second-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2007 NFL Draft. He didn't do much in his first four years out west, but he's revived his career over the last two seasons as a situational player with the Seattle Seahawks, accumulating 64 tackles and four sacks in that time frame.
The 6'6", 325-pound Branch is massive and versatile; he's played in hybrid-style defenses before (and most obviously in Seattle), and can man a zero-technique role as a true nose guard or play in gaps. He's the type of bigger, run-stuffing interior defensive lineman with two-gap ability (he can play some five-technique defensive end, too) that the Bills currently lack. He'd be a valuable addition as a part-time player for one of the league's worst run defenses, and would give the Bills a missing piece to use more 3-4 looks in Mike Pettine's hybrid scheme.
Buffalo is beginning its voluntary off-season workout program at One Bills Drive today, meaning that many Bills players will be meeting head coach Doug Marrone for the first time. From the sounds of it, Marrone will be meeting with a player that's not currently on the team, as well.