Miami Dolphins to release defensive end Andre Branch
By Brian Miller
The cost cutting roster purge is about to begin for the Miami Dolphins and it appears that defensive end Andre Branch will be the first casualty of the re-build.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is saying that the Dolphins will be releasing veteran DE Andre Branch, soon, clearing all but $2 million of his $9 million cap hit off the books. Miami in other words would add $7 million to their cap situation ahead of the league’s new year which begins a week after next.
Branch signed a big free agent contract three off-seasons ago. The Mike Tannenbaum orchestrated contract paid Branch well and reduced the cap hit in the first two years but ballooned to $10 million in 2018. The Dolphins, during the 2018 off-season, were rumored to be looking for a trade partner for Branch but if they were seeking a trade they never found a partner. Branch’s 2018 season was average and Miami never really got their money’s worth.
Branch made headlines shortly after signing his extension ahead of the 2016 season when he spent some of his money on his mother, buying her a new house.
The Dolphins are going to likely need defensive end help in this years draft. The Dolphins are not sure if they will re-sign Cameron Wake who along with William Hayes is an impending free agent and they are also expected to release Robert Quinn. Four of the Dolphins top DE’s from last season are likely going to be gone.
Branch began his NFL career in 2012 with the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Clemson. He spent four seasons with the Jaguars before joining Miami in 2016 as an unrestricted free agent. In 2017 he signed a three-year extension after an average season. He was set to become a free agent but the Dolphins stepped in and offered him a contract to keep him in Miami.
In his time with the Dolphins Branch totaled 97 tackles with 56 of those solo. He recorded three forced fumbles and three passes defensed. He had 11.5 sacks in this three years with the Dolphins.