Bills sign veteran Wallace to bolster DE ranks

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills reinforced their depleted defensive end corps by signing seven-year veteran Al Wallace on Wednesday.

The move came a day after Wallace was one of three players who worked out for the team at its training camp facility in suburban Rochester. The 33-year-old Wallace spent the past five seasons with Carolina before being cut by the Panthers in a salary-cap move in February.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, Wallace never missed a game with Carolina, a span in which he had 133 tackles and 17 sacks, including three last season - the fifth time he's registered three or more sacks in a year. Overall, Wallace has 23 career sacks, six forced fumbles and four interceptions.

The Bills needed help at defensive end, where they were down to two experienced players, starters Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay.

Backup Ryan Denney is out indefinitely after he broke his left foot in a 13-10 preseason loss to Atlanta on Friday.

Buffalo will also be minus its other backup, Anthony Hargrove, who has been suspended by the NFL for the first four regular-season games after violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The Bills have two preseason games left, including a game hosting Tennessee on Friday.

The Bills haven't ruled out adding another defensive end, particularly after Sept. 1 when NFL teams make their final cuts prior to the regular season.

An undrafted free agent out of Maryland, Wallace broke into the NFL with Philadelphia in 1997 and enjoyed a breakout year the next season when he had a career-high six sacks. But he blew out his knee the following preseason.

Bills coach Dick Jauron is familiar with Wallace, who was on Chicago's roster in 2000 when Jauron was the Bears coach. Wallace didn't play for the Bears and didn't land a regular role until 2002, when Miami traded him to Carolina.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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