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Report: Patriots bring back wide receiver Deion Branch

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There was a lot of head-scratching in New England on cutdown day when the Patriots axed wide receiver Deion Branch. With Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney already sent packing, Branch's spot on the roster had seemed assured.

But after Sunday's offensive debacle, perhaps Bill Belichick felt as if he had to go out and bring back one of Tom Brady's favorite security blankets. Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe was the first to report that Branch has re-signed with New England.

Although he isn't what he once was physically, Branch, 33, still has a knack for getting open on short and intermediate routes, and he has a rapport with Brady that the QB is still trying to develop with new vertical threat Brandon Lloyd. Branch had 51 catches for 702 yards and five TDs last season.

Branch had said over the weekend, at Troy Brown's Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony, that he would love to return to the team. Sure enough, he never had to leave town.

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