New England Patriots Reportedly Resigned Branch And Harmon
According to CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, the Patriots and Alan Branch are finalizing a two-year deal. Branch was the best defensive tackle last season for the Patriots and will provide good leadership for the Patriots’ defensive line. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the deal is worth up to $12 million. Branch, 32, finished the season with 49 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Prior to joining the Patriots in 2014 he played for the Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills.
Patriots Reportedly Also Re-Signing Duron Harmon
The Patriots are also expected to re-sign safety Duron Harmon, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Harmon has fit in well with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, giving the team many different looks in the secondary. Harmon was drafted by the Patriots in the third-round of the 2013 draft.
Prior to Super Bowl LI, Harmon made it clear to WEEI.com he would love to return to New England.
“Definitely. I love it here. I definitely love it here,” he said. “I like playing for this organization. I love this organization. They do things the right way and I know they play the game the right way. I’ve learned so much being here. I’ve become a good player here and I wanted to continue to grow here.”
The Patriots have also reportedly come to an agreement to sign free agent Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
This is according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who has said the Patriots will sign free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year deal. He’s played his first five years in the league with the Bills after being the No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of South Carolina.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the deal is expected to exceed $14 million per year. Over his five-year career, Gillmore has 14 interceptions. This signing also likely means cornerback Logan Ryan will not be returning to New England, as it doesn’t make much sense to pay two cornerbacks top money when it also has Malcolm Butler.
Another Report Has The Patriots Offering New Orleans Saints Malcolm Butler For Brandin Cooks
This is according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Patriots are considering trading Malcolm Butler to the Saints for Brandin Cooks. With the Gilmore news the Patriots could be using this as a negotiation with Butler. Malcolm’s free market value is about $14 million per year, given his RFA status a fair offer would be around $12 million.
Patriots Are Still In Contact With Dont’a Hightower
The #Patriots are in good communication with LB Dont’a Hightower about a possible return, I’m told.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
A lot more to come here on NFL Free Agency opening day, most of the transactions for the league year will come in the next 24 hours and with a lot of open spots in New England the Patriots are expected to be very active. As of right now the Patriots cap is at $50,375,843 in case you were wondering.