<
>

Agent: Alan Branch back with Patriots

Defensive lineman Alan Branch has agreed to a contract to return to the New England Patriots in 2015, the big-bodied defender's agent tweeted on Saturday night.

The deal is for two years with a maximum value of $6.6 million, a source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss.

Branch, an unrestricted free agent, played in eight regular-season games after joining the Patriots during the 2014 season.

Branch, who turned 30 this past December, was originally drafted 33rd overall in 2007 by the Arizona Cardinals before stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. After being released by the Bills in late August, Branch was inked to a one-year deal in October and played 160 defensive snaps during the regular season.

After declining the two-year option on fellow defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, interior linemen became an area of focus for the Patriots this offseason.

ESPN.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss and ESPN Insider Field Yates contributed to this report.