Deion Branch's second stint with the Patriots has ended, according Comcast Sport Net New England's Tom Curran. The Patriots announced today that the 11-year veteran wide receiver would be let go, part of a series of moves to add CB Aqib Talib and WR Greg Salas to the roster. Cornerback Malcolm Williams was also let go as part of the move.
Branch spent his first four NFL seasons in New England as one of Tom Brady's favorite targets, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX. Following the 2005 season, Branch was part of a controversial holdout and trade that saw him land in Seattle. After an injury-plagued stay with the Seahawks, Branch was traded back to the Patriots early in the 2010 season. The veteran had only nine catches for 80 yards at the time of his release.
Talib, a former first-round pick, was acquired by that Patriots in a trade with Tampa Bay. When traded, Talib was serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, which he claims was Adderall. The suspension was lifted Nov. 12 and he is now eligible to join the team in full. The Patriots have struggled to keep a healthy and productive secondary and are hoping Talib's play-making ability and pedigree can shore up the holes in their defense.
Salas was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2011 and traded to the Patriots last offseason but had been relegated to the practice squad.