It is no secret that when the New England Patriots released veteran wide receiver and former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, tight end Aaron Hernandez was going to be used as his replacement in the offense. Now things might be making a 360 degree turn as Hernandez went down with an ankle injury in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals and may be sidelined for three to six weeks.
Worst case scenario, if Hernandez is out for the next six weeks he will miss games at the Baltimore Ravens, at the Buffalo Bills, versus the Denver Broncos, at the Seattle Seahawks, versus the New York Jets and at the St. Louis Rams. These are solid teams that have credible defenses and the addition of another playmaker could make things a tad bit easier for the club.
In comes Branch. If he is in shape he can come in immediately and make an impact on the club. He knows the offense as he was apart of the team last year and played with New England during the preseason. During his years with the Patriots (2002-2005; 2010-2011) he has been one of Tom Brady‘s favorite targets hence the chemistry between the two. Last season his numbers were solid (51 receptions, 702 yards, five touchdowns).
He recently spoke on returning to the organization made the call at Troy Brown’s induction to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
It isn’t a reach as the deal would most likely be a one-year deal. This would become Branch’s third stint as a Patriots and quite frankly, I would not put it past coach Bill Belichick to bring him bac.
It is unsure whether the organization has reached out to the free agent wide receiver, but if a deal happens don’t be surprised. This is a team that thrives on having multiple weapons and re-adding Branch to the core does just that.