After a great 2016 season, DT Alan Branch had himself a lackluster 2017 season and it cost him a job temporarily. The Patriots have informed Branch that he will not be back with the team in 2018, declining his option:
The Patriots won't pick up DT Alan Branch's option, per source. He'll become a free agent.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) March 6, 2018
In 2016, Branch had a career high 49 tackles, but in 2017, he had just 12 after an injury plagued season that included team benchings.
With the decline of Branch’s option, the Patriots will clear nearly $3.5 million on the salary cap. Branch, who was inactive for Super Bowl 52, and spotted in the food court at Panda Express prior to the game, will hit the open market at the age of 33. Best of luck Uncle Phil.