The Buffalo Bills have already had to deal with the off-field issues of star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, but they aren’t going to take as lenient of an approach with Alan Branch, who was arrested for a DUI on Saturday morning. Branch was held out of the Bills preaseason contest, and his roster was in jeopardy even before the arrest. He opened camp on the active/PUP, failed a conditioning test, was criticized often by beat writers, and he had competition breathing down his neck.
Today, the USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Bills have indeed cut ties with Branch, and nobody should be surprised by this move. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter of the move as well, and it means that a guy like Landon Cohen will get more snaps in the rotation. Branch was the Bills top backup at DT behind the elite duo of Kyle Williams and Dareus, as he is an excellent run-stuffer who doesn’t offer much in the passing game.
There’s no doubt that Branch will find a roster spot somewhere, because he’s a quality defensive lineman in this league, especially in a rotational role as a plugging run-stopper. But the writing was always on the wall for him in Buffalo, and this arrest was simply the last straw. Unlike Dareus, Branch isn’t a top player, and he was slowly falling out of favor anyway. We’ll see what sort of discipline he gets from the league.