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Robert Blanton signs with Buffalo Bills

The Bills pick up a quality special teams player and reserve safety

The agent for free agent safety Robert Blanton has tweeted that Blanton has signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills confirmed earlier on Friday that Blanton was in town for a visit. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but the team has confirmed the signing.

Blanton, who will turn 27 just before the 2016 regular season begins, was a fifth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings back in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Notre Dame product spent his four seasons in Minnesota chiefly as a reserve safety and quality special teams player; his career year came in 2014, when he started 13 games and finished with 106 total tackles and an interception.

The Vikings re-signed Andrew Sendejo to a contract worth $4 million annually earlier this offseason, however, leaving Blanton available to test the open market. The Bills were his only publicly-disclosed visit.

The Bills were in need of special teams help following the departures of both Boobie Dixon and Ron Brooks this offseason, and Blanton will help them recoup some ability in that phase. He's also a versatile defensive back that's at his best in a man scheme, which could make him a valuable reserve at safety for the Ryan defense in Buffalo.

Blanton is the second free agent that the cap-strapped Bills have signed this week, joining tight end Jim Draya blocking specialist.