NFL Roster Cuts: New England Patriots Release Deion Branch
In a surprising move, the New England Patriots have released wide receiver Deion Branch, long time favorite target of Tom Brady and MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX. The Patriots signed Brandon Lloyd this off-season, so it appears they are content with the weapons they have for Brady.
Branch tied a Super Bowl record with his MVP performance, catching 11 passes for 133 yards. He has bounced back and forth between the Seattle Seahawks and Patriots since coming into the league in 2002. Branch has never had a 1,000 yard season in his 10 seasons.
The combination of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Lloyd should yet again be a potent combination for Brady, who tossed for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns a year ago. Gronk set the record for tight ends with 17 touchdown receptions to go along with his equally dominating 90 receptions and 1,327 yards.
This move to cut Branch comes on the heels of the team releasing Jabar Gaffney and Dante Stallworth, paving the way for some of the younger receivers to emerge as the third and fourth wide receiver options. Of course, that doesn’t mean those guys will get a lot of reps, as the Pats like to have their two tight ends on the field as much as possible.
Still though, Julian Edleman, Matthew Slater and Jesse Holley have to like their chances to make the roster now. Even if the Pats do not use them as much, they should contribute on special teams.
Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports. Check back to Rant Sports for more NFL roster cuts!
Follow Jeff on Twitter @Jeff_Shull
10 Reasons Brady Needs To Move On From DeflateGate
The Shrinkage Era survived long enough. Tom Brady needs to be the bigger man and accept his suspension. Read More
LISTEN: Did Tom Brady just release a Roger Goodell diss track?
With the Drake-Meek Mill feud in full swing, there seems to be only one way to settle a dispute in today's world ... A diss track. And with tensions rising high between Tom Brady and Roger Goodell, it may be the person who strikes first that comes away with the win. Read More
Three positions where the Arizona Cardinals need to add more depth
The Arizona Cardinals finally got a tight end - now here are three more positions they need to add depth at. Read More
Five different twitter reactions to Russell Wilson’s new mega deal with the Seahawks
Five different reactions to Russell Wilson's big extension with the Seattle Seahawks. Read More
Female Friday: Five lovely ladies rocking Eli Manning jerseys
Here are photos of five gorgeous women, all rocking Eli Manning's Giants jersey. Read More