According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots are "deep in negotiations" with veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch on a new contract.

The Pats believe their most recent offer to Branch is solid, according to Howe.

Adding the Michigan product back into the fold for the 2017 season would help anchor the middle of a defense that is likely to see some change in multiple areas.

Branch has been productive through three years in New England, playing in 40 games while making 33 starts over that time and recording 97 total tackles. Last season, the 32-year-old started all 16 regular season games for the Pats.

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