The Bills have announced a series of transactions, according to Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News, who tweets that the team has signed veteran defensive lineman Red Bryant. In addition to signing Bryant, the Bills also added running back Cierre Wood, cutting tight end Chris Manhertz and cornerback Rod Sweeting.
Bryant, who was among the defensive players to work out for the Bills earlier this week, saw time in all 16 games in his first and only season for the Jaguars in 2014. In total, he racked up 23 tackles to go with one pass deflection and one sack. The 31-year-old graded out as a slightly below-average contributor, according to Pro Football Focus‘ (subscription required) metrics, coming in with a -1.6 grade. Overall, that placed him 31st out of 59 qualified 4-3 defensive ends.
Before his season in Jacksonville, Bryant spent six years with the Seahawks, starting all but one regular-season contest for the team from 2011 to 2013. Although Bryant has been a starter for the last four years, one GM tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the veteran defender is best used in a rotation at this point in his career, perhaps for 20-30 plays per game. That shouldn’t be a problem in Buffalo, where the Bills have plenty of talent on the defensive line, even after taking a few injury hits.
The addition of Wood should help provide depth at another injury-plagued position for the Bills, though it’s not clear if his signing means the team has decided not to sign a veteran like Ray Rice. As I outlined earlier today, Buffalo had been discussing a possible pursuit of Rice, with LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Fred Jackson (hamstring), Anthony Dixon (calf), and Karlos Williams (illness) all battling health issues.