When the New England Patriots refused to open the wallets wide for Deion Branch back in 2006, the team caught a lot of flak for not putting the best team possible on the field. When the Pats lost the AFC championship game to Indianapolis with a questionable receiving corps that included Reche Caldwell, the situation looked even worse.
However, three seasons later, another team could be ready to sever ties with the 30-year-old receiver.
With teams being forced to chop rosters down from 75 players on Tuesday to 53 players on Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks may see Branch as the odd man out, according to The News Tribune.
The Seahawks acquired receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the offseason, while Nate Burleson, who missed 15 games last season after tearing a knee ligament in Week 1, is healthy and ready to contribute. That leaves the Seahawks with a $5 million contract with Branch, who would essentially be a third receiver.
Rookie Deon Butler, who has caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in three preseason games, could be a contributor on offense and could make a decision to let Branch go easier for Seattle.
If Branch were to be let go, it's easy to imagine that Josh McDaniels and the Broncos, Scott Pioli and the Chiefs and maybe even Bill Belichick and the Patriots would be interested in the former Super Bowl MVP.
In three seasons with the Seahawks, Branch has caught 132 passes for 1,798 yards and 12 touchdowns. He scorched his former team last December with 88 receiving yards and two touchdowns, though the Patriots eventually won when Brandon Meriweather, who was drafted by the Pats with the pick they received in the Branch trade, sacked Seneca Wallace and forced a fumble with less than two minutes to play.
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