Updates from Monday, Aug. 25
Head coach Doug Marrone spoke about Alan Branch's release on Monday (via Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 and the Buffalo Bills):
Marrone says the decision to cut Alan Branch was based mostly on performance— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 25, 2014
Marrone on Alan Branch: "You have to perform in this league, and he didn't perform well ... Hopefully it changes for him"— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 25, 2014
Doug Marrone's defensive depth in Buffalo is up in the air after Bills defensive tackle Alan Branch was arrested for drunken driving Saturday.
The Associated Press, via NFL.com, provided the details:
State police say Branch was arrested at about 2 a.m. Saturday in the town of Cheektowaga after officers noticed Branch vomiting out the driver's side door of his vehicle.
Police say Branch failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol content of .14 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and released. He's due back in court on Aug. 29. It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer.
The Bills would later make Branch's release official:
Branch, 29, was held out of the Bills' preseason game Saturday as a result of the arrest. Marrone commented on the issue after the game:
"I found out somewhere around noon-time, mid-day [Saturday]," Marrone said, per ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. "I just had so much on my mind. I tried calling him, couldn't get a hold of him, so I got a hold of him some other way -- through other people -- and just said, 'Hey, I'm meeting with you tomorrow.' But that's all I know for a fact."
Branch, 29, spent the first four years of his career in Arizona before playing two in Seattle. He signed on with the Bills on a three-year deal last season and as Rodak notes, went on to skip voluntary workouts and subsequently failed the team's conditioning test.
Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 weighed in on the matter:
Writing has to be on the wall for Alan Branch. No-show no call to OTAs, failed condition test, arrest for drunk driving night before game.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 24, 2014
Similar to his role with the Seahawks, the Michigan product was set for a rotational role on the interior of Buffalo's line behind Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus—the latter has been arrested twice this offseason.
As Rodak notes in another piece, if Marrone and the front office want to cut ties with the veteran, they still lose the $3.1 million signing bonus, but little else. They would also gain $1.9 million against their cap this season.
In the interim, the team will rely on 2013 undrafted rookie and former practice squad member Stefan Charles for depth. Joining him is Landon Cohen, who looked good in camp while Branch was stashed on the PUP list.
Branch was a cut candidate before the arrest, so if he is shown the door, a new face might be brought on with the cash the team saves.