The New England Patriots are one of the busiest teams in the early hours of free agency. In addition to other moves, they brought back defensive tackle Alan Branch on a two-year deal worth $12 million.
The #Patriots are signing DT Alan Branch back on a 2-year deal worth up to $12M, source says. They are finalizing it now.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
Branch has spent the last three seasons in Foxboro with good results. A strong run defender, Branch helped anchor a defensive line that ranked 11th in adjusted line yards last season. He also had an 83.0 run defense grade and 80.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
With Branch and Malcom Brown back on the interior, the Patriots can rest easy when it comes to their run defense. Now, all that’s left is to wait for resolutions to a potential Malcolm Butler trade and Dont’a Hightower’s free agency tour. Then, we’ll have a good idea of what this defense will look like in 2017.