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NFL Rumor Central: Pair of Pats must watch their weight

Joe Robbins/Getty Images Valencia vs. Gent

Alan Branch and Marcus Cannon would be wise to watch their weight this offseason, or their wallets could become a lot lighter.

Per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, both players have bonuses in their contracts with the New England Patriots that kick in when they reach certain weight goals from May through July. Volin writes:

    "Two Patriots have to watch their weight this offseason. Defensive tackle Alan Branch will receive $100,000 each time for weighing 355 pounds or less in April, May, and June, and another $100,000 for reporting to training camp at 350 pounds. And offensive lineman Marcus Cannon gets a total of $100,000 for hitting 350 pounds or less in April, 345 pounds in June, and 340 pounds in July."

The Patriots picked up the option on the second year of Branch's deal with the team in early March, giving the DT a $400,000 bonus in the process. He is joined by fellow 2015 starter Malcom Brown and the recently acquired Terrance Knighton, among others, inside New England's D-line.

Cannon is entering the final year of his contract with New England. The tackle, who has spent time on both sides of the line, was hampered in the middle of last season by a toe injury that limited his ability to plant on his kick step. His struggles were on display in New England's AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos, where Denver's D-line made life a living nightmare for Tom Brady & Co. ESPN's Mike Reiss pegged Cannon as the O-lineman who could benefit the most from the return of longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia following his two-year retirement. Maintaining his weight could be just one part of the formula.