Mike Giardi and Ian Rapoport report that the Patriots are finalizing a deal to bring back Alan Branch on another two-year deal.
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
What a great, underrated signing Branch was in 2014. He’s been the perfect fit for their revamped defense post Vince Wilfork. For much of the year Branch was the MVP of the front seven, dominating the interior of opposing offensive lines.
The work that he and Malcom Brown primarily did when the Pats were in sub packages was remarkable. In the past the Pats often had problems getting run on when they had light boxes, but this year the Patriots run defense had their best DVOA since Belichick took over. Doing that while primarily only playing two actual defensive lineman most of the time is pretty special.
Now the Pats ensure they’ll have that interior of Branch, Brown and Vincent Valentine for the next couple seasons at least. That bodes well for the future of the defense. Now we just need some linebackers behind them.