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The New England Patriots have informed veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch that they don’t intend to pick up his $1 million option for the 2018 season, a source confirmed.
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Branch will become a free agent at the start of the 2018 league year on March 14.
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Branch played 25.7 percent of the defensive snaps in the 2017 regular season and finished with 12 tackles. He had been with the Patriots since signing on Oct. 24, 2014.

The Patriots did pick up wide receiver Kenny Britt’s $150,000 Andrej Sekera Jersey option, a source confirms. There are no other financial obligations for Britt.

Picking up Britt’s option bonus was widely viewed as an obvious move for the Patriots due to the cheap cost and Britt’s upside. Britt is scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.05 million in 2018.

Patriots receivers currently under contract for 2018 include Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, Britt, Bernard Reedy, Cody Hollister and Riley McCarron. Edelman is coming back from a torn ACL that sidelined him for all of 2017 and Mitchell also missed the 2017 season because of a knee injury.

Receiver Danny Amendola is scheduled for unrestricted free agency and has stated his preference to return in 2018.

Of course I’m not playing this year so I’m able to be a fan this year. Any basketball player will tell you, no matter what team… and it’s hard for us to say it. Any team LeBron James on is a lock to come out of anywhere – except in the West, because the West is a different monster, Beverley explained.

… And you have to give every team out there respect. Brad Stevens has done a hell of a job with Boston. Toronto has been playing their a—es off. It’s a lot of good teams. But, you know, it is LeBron James.

So there you have it. With LeBron James leading the Cavs, they will certainly make it to the playoffs, according to Beverley.

But deciding not to tag Cousins ends the drama for Washington. The Redskins used the franchise tag on him each of the past two offseasons, earning him $44 million in guaranteed income. The sides never came close to a multiyear deal, but they both wanted a long-term solution. For Washington, that solution was Smith — who will count $17 million against the cap this season. He will sign a four-year extension once free agency begins and the trade becomes official.