Deion Branch Adds Stability to New England Patriots Crowded WR Position

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 31:  Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots answers questions from the media during Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Thursday afternoon it was reported, by ESPN's Adam Schefter, that the New England Patriots and veteran wide receiver Deion Branch had agreed to the terms on a one-year contract. 

With all of New England's recent transactions at the wide receiver position, many may have believed that there was simply not enough room for Branch and that the team was going to move on without the 32-year-old. 

Since the kickoff to free agency, the Patriots have signed wide receivers Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez, Donte Stallworth as well as re-signing Matthew Slater and Branch. 

So where will Branch fit in?

For starters, there's no secret that Branch and quarterback Tom Brady have a special relationship together. The duo have combined for two Super Bowl victories as well as Branch being one of Brady's go-to receivers over the years. 

Branch simply adds stability to a rather crowded receiving corps that consists of Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman, Tiquan Underwood, Britt Davis, Lloyd, Stallworth, Slater, Gonzalez and now Branch. 

Perhaps slipping on the depth chart could be a good thing for Branch as he struggles with staying healthy for a full 16-game season as he's played just one full NFL season throughout his 10-year career. 

While playing in 15 games during New England's AFC Championship season this past year, Branch recorded 51 receptions for 702 yards while scoring five touchdowns. 

Despite being on the downside of his career, Branch is still a reliable option for Brady as well as being a great locker room guy. 


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