Pats officially add Branch, Winslow

Published September 19, 2012

| 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.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/09/19/pats-officially-add-branch-winslow/