|The Patriots brought back veteran WR Deion Branch on Tuesday, but where he'll fit in remains to be seen. (US Presswire)|
Deion Branch spent his weekend telling everyone with a microphone that he wanted to return to the New England Patriots. The team has reportedly granted his wish.
The Patriots released WR Greg Salas, who was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams in exchange for a late-round 2015 pick earlier this month, to make room for Branch. Salas was inactive for the first two games.
New England parted ways with Branch on Aug. 31 as part of the final roster cutdown, though it seemed like he never left. His locker remained intact at Gillette Stadium, and his teammates continued to speak about him as if he could return at any moment.
Branch, who caught 51 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns last season, was at Gillette Stadium for Troy Brown's induction into the team's Hall of Fame over the weekend and told reporters that he was in contact with a few other teams but was holding out hope for a return to New England.
"If I'm there, I'd love to be back," Branch said. "I'd embrace it and pick up right where I left off at."
It may not be that simple. Branch served as the team's outside threat last season, but New England has since added Brandon Lloyd to fill that role. If he gets on the field, it would likely come in a reserve role filling in behind Lloyd on the outside.
The Patriots also agreed to terms with TE Kellen Winslow Jr. earlier Tuesday in the wake of Aaron Hernandez's ankle injury.