Bills Cut Ties With Veteran DT Who Spent 3 Seasons in Buffalo

Brandin Bryant

Getty Brandin Bryant is helped off the field during a Buffalo Bills preseason game.

The Buffalo Bills are adding depth to their offensive line and cutting ties with a defensive lineman who spent part of three seasons with the team.

The Bills announced on June 1 that they signed former Miami Dolphins tackle Brandon Shell to a one-year deal, and in a corresponding roster move released defensive tackle Brandin Bryant. The 29-year-old Bryant had spent time with six different teams over the course of his career, including time with the Bills from 2020 to 2021 and against last season.

Defensive Tackle Saw Time on Active Roster Last Season

Though Bryant has spent long stretches of his career on practice squads, he was called on early last season after the Bills suffered a rash of injuries. Bryant was elevated to the active roster and appeared in a career-high four games last year, making three total tackles.

The Bills released Bryant on Nov. 1 and he signed to the Houston Texans practice squad, but was released again on December 12 and came back to the Bills. Bryant was signed to a reserve/future contract in January.

The Bills have made some additions to their defensive line this offseason, signing former Seattle Seahawks nose tackle Poona Ford to a $27-million deal. As ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg noted, Ford’s signing helped the Bills solidify their depth in the interior defensive line.

“By signing Ford, the Bills get another big run-stopper for the middle of the line,” Getzenberg wrote on May 2. “DaQuan Jones became a key part of the interior of the Bills defensive line in 2022, which showed when he had to miss his first game of the year in Buffalo’s playoff loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bills gave up 172 rushing yards in that game, second-most for Cincinnati all season.”

Ford is coming off a season in which he had a career-best three sacks.

Bills Snag Key Offensive Lineman

The Bills added some competition to their offensive line with the addition of Shell. As Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire noted, the veteran tackle will likely get the chance to compete with incumbent Spencer Brown for the starting job at right tackle.

“Pro Football Focus graded Shell a 64.9 overall mark for his efforts in 2022, when he appeared in 13 games for the Dolphins. PFF graded Brown a 51.4,” Wojton wrote. “On top of that, Shell also has a lot of starting experience. As a rookie he only started three games. Every other season since, Shell started at least 10 games.”

But Shell has also struggled with injuries over the course of his career, Wojton noted. The 31-year-old has never played a full NFL season since entering the league as a fifth-round pick of the New York Jets in 2016.

Shell appeared in 13 games for the Dolphins last season, starting 11 and playing 93% of the team’s offensive snaps when healthy. He suffered a shoulder injury late in the season that caused him to miss time, including the playoff game between the Bills and Dolphins.

The Bills have made a number of additions on offense this offseason, with general manager Brandon Beane saying the team aimed to increase the support for quarterback Josh Allen and alleviate some pressure on wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

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