Pats Re-Sign Two Defensive Stalwarts
After diving straight into the deep end of the free agency pool with a massive deal for cornerback Stephon Gilmore earlier this morning, the New England Patriots have taken care of some of their own free agents.
Multiple reports have confirmed that the Patriots have re-signed defensive stalwarts Alan Branch and Duron Harmon to multi-year deals.
First reported by CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, Branch’s deal is worth $12 million over two years.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 9, 2017
Branch is about to enter his fourth year with the team and has been a key member of the defensive front over the past few seasons. Last year, Branch led the charge for the defense up the middle, as they ranked third against the run.
As @MikeGiardi first said, the Patriots and DT Alan Branch have agreed to a 2-year deal. Branch was team’s top DT in 2016. Wanted to return.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 9, 2017
The Pats also agreed to keep versatile defensive back Duron Harmon in New England for the next four seasons, as they signed the Rutgers alum to a $20 million deal earlier today.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo was first to report the deal that will keep Harmon in town.
S Duron Harmon back to the Pats. Four years, $20m total
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 9, 2017
While he hasn’t started for the Pats, Harmon has played a lion’s share of the snaps over the past couple years, sliding into the third safety spot in the team’s oft used nickel package.
Though Harmon isn’t necessarily a star in the secondary, he has thrived in New England’s system, performed well when called upon and his signing will help keep continuity and leadership among the defense.
Both players look to factor into the same large roles they filled last season on the 2017 team.