Heading into Thursday, the Patriots had agreed to contracts with four wide receivers since free agency began. On Thursday, they added a fifth.
The team has re-signed WR Deion Branch, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Terms and conditions of the deal were not announced.
Branch joins free-agent pickups Brandon Lloyd, Donté Stallworth and Anthony Gonzalez on the team’s depth chart; New England also re-signed WR Mathew Slater, although his primary role is as a special-teams ace. The team gave the franchise tag to its top receiver, Wes Welker, prior to free agency.
Branch is one of QB Tom Brady’s most trusted targets, as the two have played alongside each other for six seasons. Branch caught 51-702-5 last season for the AFC champs.
Branch tweeted on Thursday he is happy to re-sign, writing, "It's truly an honor and a blessing to be back with Patriots next year. Can't wait to get back in the swing of things."