Branch return to Seattle is a business trip

896971.jpg

Branch return to Seattle is a business trip

FOXBORO -- Every week you're going to read some NFL version of a Wayward, Forgotten, Cast-Out or Prodigal Son story. There are more than 1,600 players dispersed over 32 teams, and just when you think guys are settled into their respective places the whole thing gets picked up and shook like a snow globe.
This Sunday Deion Branch returns to Seattle.
Branch landed with the Seahawks in 2005 after playing his first four seasons in New England. Contract extension talks with the Patriots got ugly and went unresolved, so he took off. The receiver played three and a half seasons in Seattle before being traded back to the Patriots.
An old tale with a twist.
Will Branch be reminiscing about his old team at all? Of course. But he knows his isn't a special case.
"I know I will. That stuff happens," he told reporters Wednesday. "I think that happens with every individual who plays the game."
Branch has been through this before, in a way.
The Patriots, with Matt Cassel at the helm, visited Seattle in 2008. It was a back-and-forth battle and Branch shined for the Seahawks. He caught four passes (88 yards), including two different go-ahead touchdowns.
New England prevailed despite the best efforts of its former receiver, however.
Just ask Branch what he remembers.
"The loss," he smiled ruefully. "Not the game that I had. I think just overall the loss."
Which is exactly the attitude he'll have this weekend. Branch was asked if he'll have any special feelings regarding the return trip and he set the record straight easily enough.
"Hopefully we go out there and get a victory. That's the most important feeling that I need to have, and that's what I have," he said.
"It's always good to go back and see some of the other guys. But when the whistle blows it's time to play the game. All that other stuff goes out the window."

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.