Patriots Considering Bringing Back Deion Branch for Another Run
In line with my thinking that the Randy Moss trade made perfect sense and shouldn’t have come as a surprise, I feel the same about the possibility of the Patriots bringing back Deion Branch. Branch, the MVP of Super Bowl 39, was an enormous part of the success New England had during its years of NFL dominance. It’s no secret that the Patriots’ decision to let him walk in 2006 for financial reasons was one that deeply upset Tom Brady.
On paper, it would appear the Patriots were right to let Branch walk after their championship season in 2005. He signed a six-year, $39 million deal with the Seahawks after leaving New England and has not lived up to it. The 53 receptions he had in 2006 were the most he had as a Seahawk, and injuries have prevented him from emerging as a true No. 1 target.
However, there’s something to be said for chemistry. No two players for the Patriots had more chemistry earlier this decade than Brady and Branch. Removing injuries from the equation, what turned out to not be worth $39 million for Seattle could have ended up being worth every penny for New England. As we all know, hindsight is pointless in the world of professional sports. What’s done is done, and the Patriots should realize they made a mistake in letting their quarterback’s favorite target go and bring him back for another run.
Brady and Branch have remained good friends to this day. Brady has said on many occasions that he still exchanges text messages with Branch and the two have talked about reuniting many times. While Randy Moss was serving as the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in New England, that was not a realistic possibility. With the amount of draft picks the Patriots have accumulated and the void that has been left by losing Moss, Branch could provide some much needed experience to a youth-filled receiving corps.
Brady seemed to enjoy playing with Moss. What quarterback wouldn’t? The Patriots have taken that luxury away from their franchise quarterback. He certainly enjoyed playing with Branch and New England was able to bring out the best in the duo. Maybe it would work a second time. Maybe it wouldn’t. What the Patriots wouldn’t be getting if they brought Branch back was a distraction. They’d be getting a happier Brady and a guy who has openly said he’d love to return to the place it all began. I say go for it.