Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots made it official on
Wednesday and added wide receiver Deion Branch and tight end Kellen Winslow.
Branch was among the Patriots' final cuts in August. He caught 51 passes for
702 yards with five touchdowns in 15 games last season.
The 33-year-old veteran has spent parts of six seasons with the Patriots,
winning a pair of Super Bowl titles. He was selected by New England in the
second round of the 2002 NFL Draft and spent his first four seasons with the
club before being traded to Seattle in 2006. The Seahawks sent him back to New
England in October 2010.
In 130 games, including 107 starts, the Louisville product has 502 career
receptions for 6,499 yards with 39 touchdowns. He also has 62 catches for 932
yards in 15 career playoff games.
Branch's 24 receptions in three Super Bowls are the third-most all-time,
trailing Jerry Rice's 33 catches and Andre Reed's 27. Both Rice and Reed
appeared in four Super Bowls.
In New England's Super Bowl victory over Philadelphia after the 2004 season,
Branch was named the game's MVP after tying a Super Bowl record with 11
catches for 133 yards.
Winslow, cut by Seattle just before the start of the season, joins the
Patriots with tight end Aaron Hernandez expected to be sidelined for at least
a few weeks with an ankle sprain.
The 29-year-old Winslow is an eight-year veteran and last year with Tampa Bay
totaled 75 catches for 763 yards with two touchdowns in 16 games. He has 437
catches for 4,836 yards and 23 scores in 92 games with Tampa Bay and Cleveland
in his career.
New England also signed linebacker Niko Koutouvides, who was released by the
team at the end of August. He appeared in 11 games for the Patriots last
season and has also played for Seattle, Denver and Tampa Bay.
The Patriots released linebacker Mike Rivera, running back Lex Hilliard and
wide receiver Greg Salas. Rivera played the first two games this season on
special teams, while Hilliard had one carry for two yards last Sunday against
Arizona. Salas was inactive last week.
The Sports Network