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Patriots Expected to Announce Alan Branch Signing Today

After more than a week of waiting, the Patriots are finally expected to announce the signing of free agent defensive tackle Alan Branch today.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Over a week after news broke that the New England Patriots would be signing defensive lineman Alan Branch, it looks like the Patriots will make that move official today. Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports:

 The big-bodied Branch already had a locker at Gillette, so it was a bit of a mystery as to why the Patriots' hadn't signed him. My best guess is that they weren't prepared to have him in the game-plan for the Bears game, so instead waited a week so that his roster spot could be better utilized.

Look for Branch to have an immediate role in base-packages. He could take away some playing time from Casey Walker on the interior, but is also a likely candidate to take over some 3-4 DE duties from Chris Jones. Remember, Branch has experience both inside and outside in the 3-4 and 4-3, so the Patriots may be able to experiment a bit with his potential best fit.