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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills say performance, not arrest was reason for Branch release

Two days ago Alan Branch was arrested. One day ago, he was released from the roster. On Monday, Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone explained that the defensive tackle's release had a much thicker layer to it than just Branch's off-the-field transgression.

"It was really performance," Marrone said. "You guys watch the film and the players we released, you have to perform in this league and he didn't perform well. Obviously [the arrest] was a poor decision, but basically it was the performance because we didn't really play him much in the first two or three preseason games, nor could we."

It makes sense from what the Bills have received from Branch since he signed his three-year extension in late December. He showed up to training camp out of shape, failed his conditioning test and then was passed by on the depth chart by three separate players. He was mostly playing alongside undrafted rookie defensive tackle Damien Jacobs, who also was released by the team in order to get down to 75 players.

However, Branch was released almost 24 hours before all the other cuts, and given the timing of his arrest for drunk driving the night before their Saturday preseason contest, it appeared to serve as a catalyst for severing the working relationship. Would the Bills have cut Branch had he not been arrested?

"A lot of things factor in decisions, don't get me wrong," Marrone conceded. "But the main factor was performance. Not even close."

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

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People : Alan BranchDamien JacobsDoug Marrone

08/25/2014 3:13PM
Bills say performance, not arrest was reason for Branch release
Please enter your comments below.
08/25/2014 3:32PM
How many times have you wrote the back-ground of signing the extension, not showing up to OTC WITH no communication, coming to camp out of shape, failing his conditioning, and getting passed on the depth chart? I mean, I've had to have read that at least 6-8 times over the past couple weeks. You repeat the same things over and over and over. Half of these articles are pointless, or just a rehash of what you already wrote. You don't have to defend the Bills decision to cut the guy. Noone cares - it's Alan Branch. You told us the back-story already - why write it again in this article. Ughhhh your writing is painful to read most of the time.
08/25/2014 4:20PM
So that means....
....if Branch had been having a good camp, all would be forgiven, just like with Dareus. I appreciate Marrone's honesty in pointing out what we all know to be true: you're more likely to be forgiven in this world if you have something someone else needs, whether it's your money, political power or, in this case, athletic ability. And once your ability to give people what they want from you is gone, so are you.
08/25/2014 4:39PM
Signing bonus?
I wonder if the Bills can recoup any of the (reportedly) $3.1 Million dollar signing bonus paid to Branch. If not then this guy straight up stole 3mil from them.
08/25/2014 4:57PM
whatever ?
his arrest just made it easier for Baloney to cut him
08/25/2014 6:44PM
Re: Joe
Remember the over 1000 Byrd articles last season? Case closed.
08/25/2014 8:30PM
Something isn't right here
Drincoln Lincoln and being out of shape is not ok, but Hot Rod Lincoln Drincoln and being out of shape is ok. What a Joke! Enough said. Hamilton blog: Manuel won't be a franchise QB overnight. Maybe its time we got one that becomes one. It's been over 14 years clown!!! On Goodwin Tweets: My opinion: Some guys play hurt in this league bud and give what it takes to win. I'll boo any pi$$ poor performances. Stow it!
08/25/2014 9:05PM
Just thinkin'
It just may be another season of practice squad material and on the cheap undrafted free agents. Yes, I'm sticking with 4-12 this season. Whaley and Brandon blow. New England can just coast to the Division title again.
08/25/2014 9:29PM
Branch got his self cut period.
All the things he did neither i or you can do on a job. We will get fired quick. I don't know what all the dam fuss is about. He just couldn't cut it and got cut lets move on. Besides they pick up three players that can get the job done. Hey that looks like a win for the bills to me. And i am not going to feel sorry for nobody who just threw away millions of dollars. Cause he can't follow the rules. And he a vet at that. Well good luck branch with the next team. Because you will be retire in few years anyway. Lets go cohen.
08/25/2014 10:35PM
Can't Blame Him
... he was likely going to get cut from the Buffalo Bills, so you can't blame him for drinking. He knew his next step was either the CFL or a bottling plant. Getting cut like a wretched team like the Bills would drive anyone to drink.
08/26/2014 7:40AM
Both Marrone and Brandon told Branch to watch that drunk driving!
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