The New England Patriots were busy adding pieces to their defensive front seven Tuesday.
The Patriots are expected to sign free-agent defensive tackle Alan Branch, The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young reported Tuesday evening. That news came after Young reported that defensive end Chandler Jones is expected to miss a month with a hip injury. The Patriots reportedly are acquiring linebacker Akeem Ayers from the Tennessee Titans, too.
Branch was cut by the Buffalo Bills in August one day after being charged with a DUI. Branch also has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in his seven-year NFL career.
The Patriots could elect to replace Jones in the starting defense with a bigger player like Branch as the team transitions to a 3-4 alignment full time. Branch is a solid run defender, and he has experience as a defensive end in a three-man front.
Branch’s addition, paired with Jones’ absence, could make the Patriots stronger against the run but much weaker in pass rush.
UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): Branch agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, a source told NFL Media’s Albert Breer.
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