This can't be a good day for Tom Brady.
Two of the star quarterback's longtime teammates from New England's Super Bowl-winning teams -- wide receiver Deion Branch and center Dan Koppen -- as well as his backup (Brian Hoyer) were cut Friday as the Patriots trimmed players to reach the NFL's 53-man roster limit.
Branch was one of Brady's favorite receiving targets on the 2003 and 2004 Patriots teams that captured NFL championships. Branch was traded to Seattle in 2006 following a contract dispute but re-acquired by New England during the 2010 season.
Because of his status as a vested NFL veteran, Branch was given his outright release rather than placed on the waiver wire. If he doesn't head elsewhere, the 33-year-old Branch could be re-signed after Week 1 of the regular season when his base salary wouldn't be guaranteed for the entire year. This would give the Patriots both roster and salary-cap flexibility in case they want to release Branch again later in the season to make anoth...