The Patriots have informed defensive tackle Alan Branch that they will pick up his $400K bonus due on Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Branch is now locked in for the 2016 season.
Now that he’s been retained, the 31-year-old Branch is due to count $2.75MM against New England’s cap. The Patriots signed Branch to a two-year deal worth as much as $6.6MM last offseason. In the past, Branch has had some question marks about his work ethic and conditioning and those issues contributed to an up-and-down year with New England.
In 16 regular season games (15 starts), Branch totaled 35 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 pass deflections. Branch graded out as the No. 36 defensive tackle according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), putting him ahead of notables such as Haloti Ngata, Ricky Jean-Francois, and Chris Canty.