The New England Patriots re-signed wide receiver Deion Branch, the Most Valuable Player of their most recent Super Bowl win in 2005, and added tight end Kellen Winslow after an ankle injury to Aaron Hernandez.
Branch, 33, was one of the Patriots’ final roster cuts on Aug. 31 before the National Football League season. He started 15 games for New England last season and caught 51 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns.
An 11-year NFL veteran, Branch was a second-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2002 and won two Super Bowl titles over six seasons in New England. He played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2006 to 2010.
“Deion has just been a great player here for a long time, so it’s always great to see him back,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said at a news conference. “There’s just a lot of stability. He’s that kind of player: dependable, consistent. So, we’ll see what kind of role he plays.”
Winslow, 29, is a seven-year veteran. He joins the Patriots three days after Hernandez sprained his right ankle, an injury that may sideline him for several weeks. Winslow, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 1, played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and had 75 receptions for 763 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots also re-signed linebacker Niko Koutouvides, who played in 11 games for the team last season.