The Patriots are known for their secrecy, and at times for making transactions that catch people off-guard. However, observers were far from surprised when New England brought back former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, signing the veteran after placing Donté Stallworth on injured reserve.
This is the second time this season in which Branch has returned. He was cut before the start of the regular season, only to rejoin the team prior to Week Three. In his seven games this season (three starts), Branch has nine catches for 80 yards.
We hear the only surprise was that Branch returned this early, something likely accelerated by the mounting injuries at receiver with Stallworth joining Julian Edelman on I.R. Branch has said he wants to retire a Patriot, and the relationship between the veteran and the team has clearly facilitated the Patriots’ ability to release Branch and bring him back.
One curious move relative to the receiver position was that the Patriots reportedly put in a claim on WR Armon Binns, who was awarded to the Dolphins (they had a higher waiver priority than New England). The receiver position is thin, and the Binns claim may show the team’s desire for a younger receiver.