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.
Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert touched briefly on the team’s unsuccessful attempt to lure Dont’a Hightower away from New England in free agency.
Hightower returned to the Patriots this month on a four-year, $43.5 million deal with $19 million guaranteed. He was also courted by the Jets and Steelers, among others, with his offer from the Jets reported to be the biggest before they reportedly pulled it due to physical concerns.
The Steelers also reportedly offered more money than the Patriots, with Jason La Canfora reporting that Pittsburgh offered more than $9 million annually. Hightower’s deal with the Pats pays him $8.7 million per year.
“We made an attempt [with Hightower], it didn’t work,” Colbert told reporters. “We’re fine. We move on. Vince Williams, we were very confident in Vince. That’s why we signed him to the extension last year. So that if we got to this point and Lawrence had left us, and we didn’t sign anybody from the outside, Vince was certainly capable of stepping up and being the next guy.”
Hightower is entering his sixth season with the Patriots, who selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
It's been a long time since Tom Brady's been considered a true underdog. You might have to go back to Super Bowl XXXVI for anyone to remember a time when it seemed like the quarterback with the most championships in NFL history was a long shot to win.
Not when it comes golf, though.
Brady's a talented golfer, no doubt. He's eagled at Pebble Beach. He once teamed up with Jim Nantz to beat up on two US presidents.
But even Brady knew he faced long odds against Jordan Spieth at Augusta. According to Brady's Instagram page, it seems as though the two Under Armour pitch men made up a foursome at the famed course about two weeks before the Masters kicked off.
Brady has also taken on Augusta with Rory McIlroy. Still waiting on those scores to come out, but as with the recent Spieth round, probably shouldn't hold your breath.