The Patriots announced they have re-signed wide receiver Deion Branch, adding to the team's burgeoning collection of targets for quarterback
Branch, 32, is in his second stint with the Patriots and started 15
games last season, catching 51 passes for 702 yards and five
touchdowns. He was originally a second-round pick in 2002, playing for
the Seahawks from 2006 until the October trade deadline in 2010, when
he was reacquired by New England.
The Patriots now have their top four receivers, including tight ends
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and wide receiver Wes Welker under
contract for 2012. In addition, the Patriots restructed the contract of
Chad Ochocinco and signed free agents Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzalez.
The team also announced signing free agent fullback Tony Fiammetta, a
fourth-round pick in 2009 who played for the Panthers for two seasons
and was with the Cowboys in 2011.
Fullback Spencer Larsen also signed. He played for the Broncos since
Denver drafted him 183rd overall in 2008, playing linebacker and
fullback for two seasons
More from the Team's Press Release: (Full release on Patriots.com)
Branch, 5-9, 195 pounds, who will enter his
11th NFL season in 2012, has played in 130 games with 107 starts and
accumulated 502 receptions for 6,499 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has
played in 15 postseason games with 13 starts and has 62 receptions for
932 yards and four touchdowns. His 24 receptions in three Super Bowls
are third all time to the 33 by Jerry Rice (four Super Bowls) and the
27 by Andre Reed (four Super Bowls). Branch totaled 21 receptions in
two Super Bowl (XXVIII and XXXIX) victories with New England. Branch
tallied a team-high 10 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown in the
Patriots’ 32-29 Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers and was named
Super Bowl MVP after tying a Super Bowl record with 11 receptions for
133 yards in the Patriots’ 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fiammetta, 25, is a veteran of three
NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2009-10) and Dallas Cowboys
(2011). The 6-0, 242-pounder originally entered the NFL as a
fourth-round draft pick (128th overall) of Carolina out of Syracuse in
the 2009 NFL Draft. He was released by Carolina on Sept. 3, 2011 and
was claimed off waivers by Dallas on Sept. 5, 2011. Last season he
played in 10 games with six starts for the Cowboys and finished with
four rushing attempts for four yards and three receptions for 39 yards.
In three NFL season, Fiammetta has played in 34 games with 17 starts
and has 11 rushing attempts for 26 yards and eight receptions for 73
Larsen, 28, spent the last four seasons
with the Denver Broncos after joining the team as a sixth round draft
pick (183rd overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Arizona. The 6-2,
243-pounder was used as a fullback and a linebacker during his first
two seasons with the Broncos before settling in as a fullback over the
last two seasons. As a rookie in 2008, he became just the fourth player
since 1990 to start on both offense (fullback) and defense (linebacker)
in the same game at Atlanta on Nov. 16.
Material from the Sports Xchange and team sources was used in this report.