Branch officially re-signs with Patriots

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Branch officially re-signs with Patriots

UPDATE: The Patriots have made it official. Branch has been re-signed.

Deion Branch's locker at Gillette Stadium has been intact ever since he was released last month after suffering a hamstring injury. Now he says it's official, he's back with the Patriots, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran.

Deion Branch has officially signed back with the Patriots according to Deion Branch. PatriotsTalk Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) December 12, 2012
Curran reported two weeks ago that Branch had been working out and was close to being able to return.

Branch will fill out a receiving group that lost Donte' Stallworth yesterday after Stallworth was placed on injured reserve with an ankle issue.

The Patriots also released tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on Tuesday. Check out Curran's breakdown of all the team's recent moves right here.

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

Study ranks Patriots fan base as second-best in NFL

A scholarly blog from Emory ranks the Patriots as having the second-best fan base in the NFL. 

Compiled by professor Mike Lewis and favoring in numerous statistical data, the list ranks the Patriots first in terms of “social equity,” third in “fan equity” and fifth in “road equity.” The Cowboys hold the top overall spot. 

The following graphic is from Lewis' report. 

Lewis allows for the possibility that many of New England’s fans may be bandwagon fans, but that the league’s Deflategate scandal boosted engagement from Patriots dans on social media. 

Click here for the full report.