The Buffalo Bills and free agent defensive tackle Alan Branch have agreed to a one-year contract, according to CBS Sports's Jason La Canfora. The deal is worth $3 million, with another $350,000 available in incentives.
The Bills will be running a hybrid defense under new coordinator Mike Pettine, and the addition of Branch, a 6'6, 325-pound tackle, will allow Buffalo to employ more 3-4 alignments. He spent the last two seasons as a role player in the Seattle Seahawks' 3-4 defense, compiling 64 tackles, four sacks and two tackles for loss in 31 regular-season games. He also added four pass deflections.
The Arizona Cardinals selected Branch in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. A six-year veteran out of Michigan, he's totaled 132 tackles, eight sacks and eight tackles for loss in his career. Branch has been a model of consistency over the last four years, playing in 63 of a possible 64 regular-season games since the start of the 2009 season.
The Bills defense, a 4-3 alignment last year, was nothing to write home about in 2012, ranking 22nd in the NFL by allowing 362.9 yards per game. Buffalo tied for 18th in the league with 36 sacks, and the team was truly awful against the run. The Bills allowed 5.0 yards per carry, which ranked 30th.