The New England Patriots have decided not to pick up defensive tackle Alan Branch's contract option, as first reported by NESN.
By cutting Branch, the Patriots incurred $1 million in dead cap space while freeing $3.5 million in cap space.
Branch finished the 2017 season as a scratch for every playoff game, including the Super Bowl when the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33. The string of inactive games marked Branch's fallout with the organization just months after he'd signed a two-year, $8.54 million contract. He earned that contract after a productive 2016 season when he managed 49 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the way to the Patriots' win in Super Bowl LI.
The Patriots have acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in a trade with the Raiders, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry confirms.
Pardon My Take, a podcast by Barstool Sports, first reported the news.
Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports the Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland and received a Raiders' sixth-rounder along with Patterson.
More to come...
There's one gigantic hole to fill on the Patriots offensive line.
Replacing Nate Solder is no easy task and it's not exactly clear how the Pats will yet.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was first to report the Patriots would like to bring back Waddle or Fleming.
It now appears that one of the former backup tackle is taking a serious look elsewhere, according to Ian Rapoport.
It's not the best offensive line free agency market this season, so the Pats may prefer to bring back a guy they are familar with.
If Fleming is off the board, Waddle still remains as an option for New England.