Bills sign free agent DE Ryan Russell

PITTSFORD, NY – The Bills revamped their defensive line this offseason with the signings of defensive end Trent Murphy and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Apparently, they’re not done making adjustments in the trenches.

Buffalo has officially announced the signing of former Buccaneers defensive end Ryan Russell to a one-year deal. To make room on the roster for the new acquisition, DE Owa Odighizuwa has been released.

Russell first drew interest from the Bills back in May when he first took a free-agent visit with the team. He took a second visit with the Bills on Saturday.

The 26-year-old hails from Purdue University and was originally a fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2015. After appearing in just one game during his rookie campaign, Russell was ultimately placed on the injured reserve last in the season. The following summer he wound up being released as part of the roster cutdown following a rough preseason but retained to the Cowboys practice squad for a few days before being let go of again.

Several weeks later he was signed by Tampa Bay to the practice squad and found a way onto the active roster for the final eight games of the 2016 campaign. He recorded his first sack in a game against the Seahawks in November that year.

Last season, Russell played in a career-high 14 games for the Bucs, starting six of them and registering 16 total tackles and two more sacks. After the season, Tampa Bay opted to let Russell enter free agency.

The three-year veteran will now battle for a roster spot behind expected starting defensive ends Murphy and Jerry Hughes. Also fighting for a job is former first-round pick Shaq Lawson, who now has some more competition.

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