Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Patriots Cut WR Deion Branch, Activate CB Aqib Talib


Dieon Branch’s latest stint with the Patriots has come to an end as the team has announced they have cut the long time Patriots wide out and Greg Salas to replace him in the rotation of receivers. The team also announced that they’ve activated recently acquired cornerback Aqib Talib, who is expected to make his Patriots debut against the Colts on Sunday.

Talib was acquired last week from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has finished serving out his suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse  policy.

This was yet another go-around with New England for Branch, who at one time was the team’s best receiver and Tom Brady’s top target. But the times have changed and the Patriots are looking to get younger with their receiving corps and have elected to give second year receiver Greg Salas a chance — which is interesting considering they cut the guy after trading for him from St. Louis.

Salas is a fourth-round draft pick whom New England got from the Rams in an offseason trade, but the man was cut after Branch re-signed in New England. The Patriots didn’t let Salas go far as they signed him to their practice squad to ferment and develop in their system.

They’ve apparently seen all they need to see to give the young man a shot in the NFL. Branch, on the other hand, appears to be damaged goods. He’s suffering from a hamstring injury that had him listed as questionable for this Sunday’s game against the Colts. Branch will hit waivers on Monday and any team is free to claim him.

Other than New England, the only other team Branch has played for has been the Seahawks, but given his age and injury concerns, it’s not likely that he’ll be getting a lot of phone calls next week. But then again, all it takes is one.

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