Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The one-year audition with the Buffalo Bills for defensive lineman Alan Branch was a success. Less than a week before his 29th birthday, the Bills announced that they have signed Branch to a contract extension. The player revealed that it's a three-year deal, although the monetary value has yet to be uncovered.
"I enjoyed the team, I like the scheme and I like the players here," Branch said moments after the team announced the re-signing. "I wanted to stay here and I wanted everything to be fair, so when my agent and the team got everything settled, that was an easy decision for me to stay. I like the area, I like the people and like I said, I like the team."
After signing a one-year deal worth $3 million, the defensive lineman has accrued 35 tackles over the course of 15 games played and 12 starts for the team. He was forced into the starting lineup once Alex Carrington was lost for the season with an injury.
He came to Buffalo after becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013 following a stint with the Seattle Seahawks.
Branch was a part of the Seahawks team that turned it around in 2012 and found their way into the postseason, and thinks the Bills could be cut from the same cloth in 2014.
"It's very close. I feel like I was part of the building process somewhat in Seattle and I see a lot of similar things," he said. "All the games that we lost were by a few points, and that was kind of the exact same way it was in Seattle as well. I feel like we actually may have been in some areas, a little bit more ahead than Seattle was when I was there in some expects. I feel like that next year, I feel like the sky is the limit. I think we can go deep in the playoffs with the talent that we have in here."
Branch will be entering his eighth season in the NFL in 2014. He was originally selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Joe B's Take:
Getting Alan Branch under contract is a good move for the Bills who are quickly learning that the defense is not the source of their problems in the 2013 season. Much more will be known once Branch's cap numbers are revealed, but this signing casts a bit of doubt over the likelihood that Alex Carrington will return. All five of the Bills' current cast of defensive linemen (Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Branch, Corbin Bryant and Stefan Charles) are signed for 2014 at least. While Buffalo does like Alex Carrington as a player, they won't overpay for someone that has just nine career starts in four seasons. Complicating things even more Carrington's agent is Eugene Parker, who also serves as the representative for safety Jairus Byrd.