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Deion Branch is staying in New England

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The Patriots have signed three receivers in free agency and now they’ve kept one of their own free agents at the position.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team has re-signed Deion Branch. Branch, who returned to the Pats in 2010 after four years with the Seahawks, never generated much interest on the open market from other clubs. The two biggest reasons for that would seem to be that he’s never been as successful as he’s been when he’s catching passes from Tom Brady and the other is that the 33-year-old showed some signs of slippage last season.

Branch cleared 50 receiving yards just five times in the 2011 regular season and once in three playoff games. Branch was also held without a catch in three contests. He finished the year with 51 catches for 702 yards and five touchdowns.

The additions of Brandon Lloyd, Donte’ Stallworth and Anthony Gonzalez to go with Branch, Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco and Julian Edelman will make for an interesting training camp battle for spots on the depth chart in New England.

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25 Responses to “Deion Branch is staying in New England”
  1. tomeffnbrady says: Mar 22, 2012 3:03 PM

    In other words if your a WR on the Patriots roster be prepared to earn your spot on the roster *cough* hear that ochocinco? *cough*

  2. benh999 says: Mar 22, 2012 3:08 PM

    How special.

  3. 6ball says: Mar 22, 2012 3:08 PM

    .

    Both Lloyd and Stallworth are familiar with the Patriots offense. Gonzales ….not so much.

    .

  4. ampats says: Mar 22, 2012 3:08 PM

    Good signing. Deion Branch understands the exact spot that Brady wants him in, unfortunately Ocho could not figure that out all season.

  5. sschmiggles says: Mar 22, 2012 3:10 PM

    Solid #3 behind Welker and Lloyd. Really a #5 when you count Hernandez and Gronk

  6. giantseahawk says: Mar 22, 2012 3:10 PM

    Branch is a bum. He signed with the Seahawks and did nothing but rehab for four years. As soon as he gets back to the Pats you couldn’t keep the guy off the field.

    Randy Moss thinks this guy takes seasons off

  7. homelanddefense says: Mar 22, 2012 3:13 PM

    I dont think Stallworth will make the team. And Ocho isnt too far behind him…if they draft a WR then you can kiss Branch or Gonzalez goodbye too.

    This signing better be for small dollars.

  8. patsfiend says: Mar 22, 2012 3:13 PM

    What about Kid n’ Play Underwood?

    I don’t see how Gonzalez is making this team. Or Ocho, Plus their TE’s… and now they’ll start a RB who can hopefully catch a pass… plenty of pass-catchers.

  9. tombradyallday says: Mar 22, 2012 3:16 PM

    thats the best thing bout new england. coaches let players compete in camp never just give out jobs. ocho knows that now and i like chad

  10. govtminion says: Mar 22, 2012 3:17 PM

    We’re assuming that Ochocinco is going to be in New England again next season? I thought he was done there for sure.

  11. skolvikesskol says: Mar 22, 2012 3:36 PM

    Like there was another team who wanted him.

  12. bigbamboom1 says: Mar 22, 2012 3:55 PM

    Unlike some here, I think Gonzales is a huge grab for the Patriots. That will allow the Pats to go with a Super 3 TE set at times, with Hernandez lining up at Fullback. It will insure Hernandez or Welker has a slow middle linebacker or safety covering them on intermediate routes. HUGE advantage Pats! Guaranteed mismatches all over the field. Especially if Stallworth and LLoyd can burn it on Go-Routes. But I also think the Pats will grab a swift wide receiver in the draft with 1 of their 2 number 1 picks. Maybe Floyd from Notre Dame?

    They are even better than last year at RB with the more versatile Steve Ridley, the speedy Ben Vereen, the shifty D. Woodhead, the reliable K. Faulk and the wildcard A. Hernandez. The big 2nd yr O tackle Nate Solder also lined up at Fullback in Heavy up goal line blocking packages last year. He was a huge tight end at Colorado.

    Looks like McDaniel and Belicheck are all in on creating matchup nightmares for everyone on D next year. I think the odd man out in this rotation is Ochocinco. He better set the world on fire in the preseason. Or he is 1 and done in NE. If they draft a speed burner in rounds 1-3 it is a moot point for Ocho anyway IMO.

  13. nfl1818 says: Mar 22, 2012 4:07 PM

    I think Branch might be much more effcetive next year with Lloyd stretching the field and Gronk, Hern, and Welker working shorter routes. That will leave Branch as very reliable 5th option finding the open midrange space.

    Basically you are putting Lloyd in Branch’s role and Branch in Ocho’s role, a big 2x improvement.

    Thats to say nothing of how Ocho might react with afull camp or Gonzalez or Stallworth. If any of these 3 do something, it will be all upside beyond the huge dynamic offered by Lloyd.

    Draft a WR in 2 rounds ? I highly doubt it – maybe an OL, but otherwise S, OLB, DE, DL.

  14. homelanddefense says: Mar 22, 2012 4:11 PM

    you do know that Kevin Faulk is basically done right?

  15. faulkana says: Mar 22, 2012 4:17 PM

    As much as I like Branch, I am not thrilled to have him around anymore. He never even attempts to pick up a yard after a catch. Catch=Fall down.
    He is decent at 3rd down conversions because he is tight with Brady, but I’d love to see someone at least try to get some YACs.
    Ocho must go. Seeing his face on the sideline is simply a reminder that we made a big mistake.
    Gonzalez I can’t stand simply because he was a Colt and Buckeye. I never thought he was too good either.
    So there is my 2 cents on the 3 receivers to get rid of.

  16. patsfiend says: Mar 22, 2012 4:19 PM

    @bigbamboom1 … That’s about the most positive / homerific Pats post I’ve seen here in a while!

    Gonzalez a huge grab! Faulk reliable! Pats actually drafting a receiver worth a darn!

    I hope all your dreams come true, I really do.

  17. cdins says: Mar 22, 2012 4:20 PM

    @bigbamboom, uh, you do know that anthony gonzalez is not HOF tony gonzalez????? Wow

  18. ttommytom says: Mar 22, 2012 4:28 PM

    Who is going to play Special Teams?

    At least 3 of them won’t make the team.

    You need a gunner from the wideouts.

  19. unbreakable02215 says: Mar 22, 2012 4:32 PM

    Love the guy. Did a TON for the franchise. But
    this cat is cooked. Done. No legs left.

  20. dd10er says: Mar 22, 2012 4:34 PM

    Its going to be interesting to see who emerges on the team after training camp.

    Welker
    Llyod
    Branch
    Stallworth
    Gonzalez
    Edleman
    Ochocinco
    And potentially a draft choice at WR

    I don’t see Ocho making the team, and then for me I believe it is a toss up between Stallworth or Gonzalez, maybe even both. Personally I would like to see Stallworth make the team though, but we’ll see how it turns out, should be exciting.

  21. tybrew says: Mar 22, 2012 4:52 PM

    Dion is a classy Guy…love his interviews cause he’s kinda funny…glad he’s back

  22. laxcoach37 says: Mar 22, 2012 9:46 PM

    Jeez… This is like an old age home for cast-off WR’s. The difference is Brady. He can make any group of these average dudes look good. Welker ( when he holds on to the Ball) and Llyod is their first Big-Man will have success. Gonzales will be out for the Season in 5 minutes, but who needs him with their TE tandem. 4 of those guys won’t even make the Roster and Ochostinko might as well call TO and have him make some room on his Couch. Hey, Branch… You want to be in my Fantasy League, no, not ON it; IN it. You’ll have plenty of time on your hands.

  23. bigbamboom1 says: Mar 23, 2012 12:11 AM

    My bad on Gonzalez. I thought they meant the HOF TE. Never mind the 2Te scenario. The Gonzalez they got can’t beat a dead man on a route. He is nothing but camp fodder. Ocho has a little breathing room now. But not very much. I believe it will basically come down to Ocho or Branch. Because I think they will draft a burner receiver and another TE in the early rounds. Because both Hernandez and Gronk are injured. At least one of them may go down next year. And the Pats would be screwed. The Pats have 2 number 1′s and 2 number 2′s. They’ll draft mostly offense early and try to sign serviceable free agent defenders & undrafted rookies to blend with the youngsters already on the roster.

  24. baroneski29 says: Mar 23, 2012 12:47 AM

    No matter what they do, they just can’t beat the Giants.

  25. patriotera says: Mar 24, 2012 2:08 AM

    So are you ready for the Giants to go another couple yrs without making the playoffs again?

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