FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have re-signed DL Alan Branch. In addition, the Patriots signed cornerback Bradley Fletcher as an unrestricted free agent from Philadelphia and cornerback Robert McClain as an unrestricted free agent from Atlanta. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
Branch, 30, originally was signed by the Patriots on Oct. 29, 2014. The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder, played in eight games with two starts for New England in the regular season and finished with 14 tackles, two quarterback hits and one pass defensed. He played in all three postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIX and totaled seven tackles. Branch is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2007-10), Seattle Seahawks (2011-12), Buffalo Bills (2013) and Patriots (2014). Branch entered the NFL as a second-round (33rd overall) draft pick out of Michigan by Arizona in the 2007 NFL Draft. He joined Seattle as an unrestricted free agent in 2011 and Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent in 2013. He went to training camp with Buffalo last summer but was released on Aug. 24. Branch has started in 49 of 102 NFL games and has recorded 184 total tackles and eight sacks.
Fletcher, 28, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with the St. Louis Rams (2009-12) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-14). The 6-foot, 200-pounder, has played in 71 NFL games with 54 starts and registered 306 total tackles, one sack, eight interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, 64 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 11 special teams tackles. He has played in one postseason game in 2013 with Philadelphia and added seven total tackles and one interception. Last season with the Eagles, Fletcher started in all 15 games that he played and tallied 66 total tackles, one interception that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown vs. Carolina on Nov. 10 and 26 passes defensed.
Fletcher originally entered the NFL as a third-round (66th overall) draft pick by the St. Louis Rams out of Iowa in 2009. He was signed by Philadelphia as an unrestricted free agent from St. Louis on March 12, 2013.
McClain, 26, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2010), the Jacksonville Jaguars (2011) and the Atlanta Falcons (2012-14). The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder, has played in 63 NFL games with 17 starts and has tallied 202 total tackles, three interceptions, 21 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He has also played in two postseason games in 2012 with Atlanta where he finished with one assisted tackle. Last season with the Falcons, he played in 16 games with six starts and finished with 60 total tackles, one sack, two interceptions and five passes defensed.
McClain originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (249th overall) by Carolina out of Connecticut in 2010. After being released by Carolina at the end of training camp in 2011, he was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 12 but was released on Dec. 29. McClain was inactive during his two-game stint with Jaguars. He signed with Atlanta as a free agent on Jan. 10, 2012.