ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Alan Branch has decided to officially retire. The now-former NFL defensive lineman spent the weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico where family and friends gave him a surprise retirement party Sunday.
Branch was showered with the shouts of surprise as he walked into the room. He then walked around the entire restaurant at Vernon’s Speakeasy, shaking hands and expressing his gratitude for all of the support that he had received during his career.
“You know, it’s bittersweet,” said Branch. “Playing, you got the experience of life of a football player and all that. At the same time, you just miss so much.”
Branch will now have the family time he craved during his playing days. No more missing games and other activities.
“I’m able to go to daddy-daughter dances,” said Branch. “I just love being a dad.”
Branch was the 33rd overall player taken in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The former University of Michigan star would play for a total of four NFL teams before his 11-year professional career came to a halt.
Branch had stops in Seattle, Buffalo, and New England. He won a pair of Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. He had 279 tackles, ten and a half sacks, five forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in his career. Branch also had 14 pass deflections.