The Patriots continue their veteran house cleaning Friday, as Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that WR Deion Branch has been released. Branch was initially competing with Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth for the slot receiver position, but now that all three are gone, that role will likely fall to Julian Edleman.
Analysis: Branch had another decent season as a WR3 last year with 51 catches, 702 yards and 5 TDs, but the Patriots are clearly committed to getting young at the WR position. After Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Edleman and the Gronk/Hernandez TE combo, touches were going to be scarce for Branch anyway. At age 33, the former Super Bowl MVP isn't done yet, and could draw interest from a depth-starved team like the Dolphins, but he doesn't grade as anything more than a late-round flier at this point.