More than three years ago, receiver Deion Branch staged an extended holdout in New England because Branch wasn’t happy that his rookie contract carried a fifth year. Eventually, he forced a trade to Seattle.
Since then, Branch has been a non-factor.
But now that his salary nudges from $4.97 million to $5.47 million and given that he’s one more year removed from his days of faded greatness, Branch might need a new home.
And Branch apparently wouldn’t be averse to coming back to New England.
“You know what, I talk to guys all the time. I never wanted to leave, nor did Coach Belichick and his staff and the organization want me to leave, either,” Branch told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “We just couldn’t get the contractual part down. We just couldn’t come to an agreement. And that stuff happens. . . . I still love coach Belichick, and if the opportunity presents itself to come back, I would love to be there. . . .
“I still talk to Tom [Brady] to this day,” Branch added. “And the crazy part is, you never lose that relationship with guys, especially when you do something special, which is what we did in my first four years in New England. I still talk with half of the team. To this day, I still talk with half of the guys that were on the team with me. It’s a special bond. For us to reunite, I don’t know. I would probably be crying at the press conference, if it happens. Look, I’ve enjoyed my time with the Seahawks. I would love to stay in Seattle. But if it happens, if it presents itself, that would be great.”
That said, injuries have kept Branch from being the player he once was, and he’d be relegated to a secondary role, given the presence of Randy Moss and Wes Welker on the team. But if he’s not going to be a starter in any other town, Branch might as well go back to New England.