July 26, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch runs a route during the Patriots opening day of training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
Deion Branch will likely make the 53-man roster for the Patriots after Monday's surprising waiver of Jabar Gaffney.
Bill Belichick jettisoning Gaffney came as a surprise to those who follow the team closely. Combined with the release of wideout Donte Stallworth, it opened up some room on the outside in the Pats' offense.
Deion Branch figures to be the biggest beneficiary of the release of Gaffney and Stallworth. Jared Stegall of Pats Pulpit took a look at what Monday's cuts meant for the roster going forward, and who is now likely to make it through the 53-man cutdown on Friday. He thinks Branch is now probably safe:
With Gaffney and Stallworth now off the roster, it seems pretty evident that Deion Branch will make the final 53-man roster.
Much has been publicized about how Branch was considered the odd man out, and would likely have to battle Stallworth for the final wide receiver spot. Gaffney had such good chemistry with Tom Brady back in 2007, he's a sure bet to make the final roster, right? Well, not exactly.
Branch has worked very hard over the offseason, and was able to deal with the pressure exceptionally well. He's clearly shown Bill Belichick that he's not washed up, and can out preform guys like Gaffney and Stallworth, who have had success in the Patriots offense.
While the Gaffney move really sent shockwaves throughout the league, it's clear that Branch still has what it takes to stick around in Foxborough.