Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/12

FOXBORO, MA - NOVERMBER 21: Deion Branch of the New England Patriots reacts after teammate in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
As the Patriots are adding a new toy to their struggling secondary, a familiar face will be leaving the team. Veteran wide receiver Deion Branch was released by New England, along with special teamer Malcolm Williams to make room for cornerback Aqib Talib and wide receiver Greg Salas, according to Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet. Branch was cut out of training camp, but re-signed with the team on Sept. 18. Branch had 80 yards on nine receptions in seven games this season. He’s spent seven total seasons with the Patriots in his 12 career seasons. Branch injured his hamstring on Friday at practice and was questionable for this week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Salas was on the practice squad prior to his addition to the 53-man roster. The Patriots traded a 2015 draft pick for Salas on Sept. 1, and released him on Sept. 18. Salas has been on New England’s practice squad since Sept. 20. The Patriots traded for Talib during the last moments of Nov. 1′s NFL trading deadline. He was acquired along with a seventh-round pick for a fourth-round pick. Talib served the last game of a four-game suspension last week. New England was given a roster exemption for Talib, which meant that he didn’t need to be added to the active roster until Monday. The move to add him to the roster likely means he will play on Sunday against the Colts.
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