FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today the re-signing of WR Deion Branch. In addition, the Patriots signed free agent FB Tony Fiammetta and unrestricted free agent FB Spencer Larsen. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
Branch, 32, was originally selected by the Patriots in the second round (65th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Louisville. He was traded by the Patriots to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 11, 2006 and then reacquired through a trade with Seattle on Oct. 12, 2010. Last season, Branch started in 15 games that he played in and caught 51 passes for 702 yards with five touchdowns, including a 63-yard reception in the win at Philadelphia on Nov. 27.
Branch, 5-9, 195 pounds, who will enter his 11th NFL season in 2012, has played in 130 games with 107 starts and accumulated 502 receptions for 6,499 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has played in 15 postseason games with 13 starts and has 62 receptions for 932 yards and four touchdowns. His 24 receptions in three Super Bowls are third all time to the 33 by Jerry Rice (four Super Bowls) and the 27 by Andre Reed (four Super Bowls). Branch totaled 21 receptions in two Super Bowl (XXVIII and XXXIX) victories with New England. Branch tallied a team-high 10 receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 32-29 Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers and was named Super Bowl MVP after tying a Super Bowl record with 11 receptions for 133 yards in the Patriots' 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fiammetta, 25, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2009-10) and Dallas Cowboys (2011). The 6-0, 242-pounder originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (128th overall) of Carolina out of Syracuse in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was released by Carolina on Sept. 3, 2011 and was claimed off waivers by Dallas on Sept. 5, 2011. Last season he played in 10 games with six starts for the Cowboys and finished with four rushing attempts for four yards and three receptions for 39 yards. In three NFL season, Fiammetta has played in 34 games with 17 starts and has 11 rushing attempts for 26 yards and eight receptions for 73 yards.
Larsen, 28, spent the last four seasons with the Denver Broncos after joining the team as a sixth round draft pick (183rd overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Arizona. The 6-2, 243-pounder was used as a fullback and a linebacker during his first two seasons with the Broncos before settling in as a fullback over the last two seasons. As a rookie in 2008, he became just the fourth player since 1990 to start on both offense (fullback) and defense (linebacker) in the same game at Atlanta on Nov. 16.
In four NFL seasons, Larsen has played in 50 games with 15 starts and has registered 17 rushing attempts for 62 yards and 14 receptions for 127 yards with one touchdown. In addition, he has 13 defensive tackles and 22 special teams tackles. Last season, Larsen played in 16 games with six starts for Denver and had 14 rushing attempts for 44 yards and caught nine passes for 76 yards.