Deal Between Pats, Branch On Hold

FRIDAY, 9:25am: The deal between the two sides still hasn’t been finalized.’s Lee Schechter writes that the defensive lineman was spotted in the locker room, but Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald clarifies (on Twitter) that Branch still hasn’t signed.

Meanwhile,’s Mike Reiss suggests that the Patriots could wait a week to sign Branch. As the writer notes, if the team ultimately decides that Branch can’t help them this weekend, it’s make little sense to rush the process.

TUESDAY, 7:42pm: The Patriots are expected to sign free agent defensive lineman Alan Branch to help fill the void left by Chandler Jones‘ injury, tweets Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe. Branch was released by the Bills after he was arrested for a DUI in August.

Branch, 29, was signed to a three-year, $9.1MM extension in December of last year, which included a $3.1MM signing bonus. The former Cardinals second-round pick was set to earn $1.85MM in base salary in 2014, $875K of which was guaranteed for injury only, but Buffalo decided to part ways with him after his incident. Branch started 13 games for the Bills last season, and has started 47 during his career, racking up 112 tackles and eight sacks in total.

New England also acquired defensive end Akeem Ayers from the Titans earlier today.

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