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Bills host DE Ryan Russell on free-agent visit; will host WR Russell Shepard

The Buffalo Bills might not be done addressing depth along their defensive line.

The team hosted former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ryan Russell on a free-agent visit, a league source confirmed to The Buffalo News. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first to report Russell's visit.

Additionally, according to a league source, the Bills will host former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Russell Shepard on a free-agent visit later in the week. Shepard was released Monday by Carolina after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Shepard appeared in 15 games for Carolina in 2017, making three starts and finishing with 17 catches for 202 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed twice for 19 yards. Shepard signed a three-year contract worth up to $10 million with Carolina last offseason, but became expendable when the team drafted Maryland's D.J. Moore in the first round last month. His release saved the team a little more than $2 million against the salary cap.

A 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, Shepard spent the first four years of his career with Tampa Bay. He has 47 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 72 career games (nine starts).

Shepard, 27, also has experience playing special teams, serving as Carolina's "gunner" on the coverage units. Receiver remains a position the Bills could look to improve heading into 2018, with a lack of proven options behind Kelvin Benjamin.

Russell, 26, is a 6-5, 275-pounder who appeared in 14 games with seven starts in 2017 for the Buccaneers, finishing with 13 tackles and two sacks. A former fifth-round draft pick of Dallas in 2015 out of Purdue, Russell appeared in just one game for the Cowboys as a rookie before moving on to Tampa Bay. He appeared in eight games in 2016, registering four tackles and one sack.

The Bills have been active this offseason in addressing defensive end. Trent Murphy was one of the marquee signings as a free agent, while depth players Owa Odighizuwa and Terrence Fede were also signed. Last week, Mike Love (South Florida) and Matt Boesen (TCU) signed as priority free agents.

That's on top of the team re-signing Eddie Yarbrough. All of those players will compete for roles behind projected starters Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson.

If the Bills want to sign either Russell or Shepard, they'll need to make a corresponding cut since they are at the 90-man roster limit.

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