Do the Patriots need Deion Branch right now? No. Will they at some point this year? Most likely.
While he isn’t needed at this moment in time, bringing back Branch should not be debated if that time comes for the Patriots.
Bill Belichick has always been a depth guy, and Branch has shown that he knows how to play in the New England offensive system as good as anyone. He and Tom Brady have some kind of otherworldly connection between the two of them, as Branch showed when he first returned in 2010.
The knock on Branch is that he isn’t really a guy who can contribute much on special teams, which is why he was part of those preseason roster cuts. But in the coming months, when someone on the offense is bound to get dinged up, it’s not a terrible idea to have an 11-year veteran that fits into your offense on standby.
Will Branch be the missing link to the Patriots lifting another Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year? Probably not. But if they need a reliable receiver to come in and catch some passes from Brady, there is no better option out there.
You'll find no bigger proponent of Deion Branch than me, but even I can't see him fitting on this team without injuries to other players. It's clear the offense plans to utilize Julian Edelman more than ever this year, and we're going to see more of a running game with three tight end sets.
In Week 1, people are already losing their minds over Wes Welker getting "just" five targets. If the team is going to use the NFL's leading receiver since 2007 less often, how much room is there really for Branch?
I'm not saying the team shouldn't consider Branch or that he's a bad guy to keep on the roster. In fact, I think you're a better team with Branch around. What I'm saying is that this team, sadly, does not need Deion Branch to win games.