Reports: DE Russell, WR Shepard will make free agent visits with Bills

The team has addressed the defensive end position extensively this offseason

Sal Capaccio
May 15, 2018 - 3:43 pm

Photo: Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills are bringing in a pass rusher and wide receiver for free agent visits, according to different media reports.

NFL Insider Ian Rapoport first reported that defensive end Ryan Russell will be in Buffalo for a visit, while The Buffalo News' Jay Skurski tweeted that wide receiver Russell Shepard will also be in town.


Russell, a 2015 fifth round pick by the Dallas Cowboys out of Purdue, has appeared in 23 games over his three-year career, collecting 20 tackles and three sacks. Last season in Tampa Bay, the 6’ 5”, 267-pound defensive end started six games for the Buccaneers. He missed two games with a dislocated shoulder, finishing the season with 16 tackles and two sacks.

The Bills have made several moves at defensive end this offseason, including signing Trent Murphy to a three-year, $22.5 million contract. They’ve also signed free agents Owa Odighizuwa and Terrence Fede, as well as undrafted free agents Mike Love and Matt Boesen. They retained Marquavius Lewis, who was on last year’s practices squad and re-signed Eddie Yarbrough, who was an exclusive rights free agent.  

Those seven players join 2017 starters Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson on the depth chart. That’s nine defensive ends already on the 90-man roster.

Shepard played for the Carolina Panthers last season after spending four years in Tampa. He was originally signed in 2013 as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles after playing college football at LSU. For his career, Sheppard has 47 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns. After mostly playing special teams and used for depth at wideout over his first three years in the league, he had 40 receptions for 543 yards over his last two seasons.


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