Deion Branch

Deion Branch approves of Cam Newton move, sees 'crazy season' for Patriots QB

Deion Branch approves of Cam Newton move, sees 'crazy season' for Patriots QB

Cam Newton reportedly is joining the New England Patriots on a one-year contract, and the move has been met with positive reviews from many corners of the football world.

Newton's former head coach with the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera, said the veteran quarterback is ready to "bust out" with the Patriots. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith "loved" the move and thinks Newton and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will form a productive partnership. Former Patriot and Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss also thinks the team's offense will be really fun to watch if Newton is leading the way.

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Another former players who envisions success for Newton in Foxboro is Deion Branch. The ex-wide receiver played about six-and-a-half seasons with the Patriots after they selected him in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Branch played a key part in the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX victories, and he even won Super Bowl XXXIX MVP.

He's also pretty excited for Newton's arrival in New England.

"I think this guy's going to erupt, man," Branch told TMZ. "I think this is going to be a crazy season for him, and moving forward. You're seeing the things he's doing, what he's posting online. This isn't fake, man. This guy is out here grinding. He's trying to show teams, 'Hey, I know what I can do. Just give me the opportunity.' And I think that's what Bill sat back and said -- OK, I'll give you the opportunity. Now go do your thing."

Branch also said he thinks Newton and the Patriots "will be a great marriage."

Newton still has to win the starting job, and he'll have competition from 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. But if Newton is healthy and wins the job, he would give the Patriots offense a dual-threat skill set at quarterback rarely seen in the 20 years Belichick has been the head coach. 

A list of all the receivers of Tom Brady's TD passes

A list of all the receivers of Tom Brady's TD passes

Tom Brady has thrown 541 passing touchdowns to 77 different targets in the regular season and 73 touchdowns to 28 targets in the postseason during his career. In 2019, he surpassed longtime archrival Peyton Manning for second place on the NFL's all-time touchdown passes list.

Brady's long list of TD targets will grow in 2020, as Brady will don a new uniform for the first time in his 20-year NFL career. The six-time Super Bowl champion announced in an emotional social media post Tuesday he will "continue his football journey elsewhere."

As for where exactly that will be, we'll have to wait and find out.

For now, though, here’s a list of the players on the other end of Brady’s 541 TDs during his legendary Patriots tenure:

Regular Season: 541 TDs to 77 different targets 

  • Rob Gronkowski (78)
  • Randy Moss (39)
  • Julian Edelman (36)
  • Wes Welker (34)
  • James White (24)
  • Deion Branch (24)
  • Aaron Hernandez (18)
  • Daniel Graham (17)
  • Benjamin Watson (17)
  • David Patten (16)
  • Troy Brown (15)
  • Christian Fauria (13)
  • David Givens (12)
  • Chris Hogan (11)
  • Danny Amendola (10)
  • Kevin Faulk (10)
  • Mike Vrabel (8)
  • Phillip Dorsett (7)
  • Brandin Cooks (7)
  • Brandon LaFell (7)
  • Shane Vereen (7)
  • Martellus Bennett (6)
  • Jabar Gaffney (6)
  • Tim Wright (6)
  • Dion Lewis (5)
  • Josh Gordon (4)
  • Reche Caldwell (4)
  • Scott Chandler (4)
  • Aaron Dobson (4)
  • Bethel Johnson (4)
  • Brandon Lloyd (4)
  • Malcolm Mitchell (4)
  • Donte' Stallworth (4)
  • Kenbrell Thompkins (4)
  • Danny Woodhead (4)
  • Rex Burkhead (4)
  • Doug Gabriel (3)
  • Chad Jackson (3)
  • Antowain Smith (3)
  • Jermaine Wiggins (3)
  • Brandon Bolden (3)
  • N'Keal Harry (2)
  • Sam Aiken (2)
  • Kyle Brady (2)
  • Chris Baker (2)
  • Alge Crumpler (2)
  • Corey Dillon (2)
  • Tim Dwight (2)
  • Marc Edwards (2)
  • Donald Hayes (2)
  • Keshawn Martin (2)
  • Cordarrelle Patterson (2)
  • Brandon Tate (2)
  • Dwayne Allen (1)
  • Tom Ashworth (1)
  • LaGarrette Blount (1)
  • Matt Lengel (1)
  • Michael Floyd (1)
  • Larry Centers (1)
  • Cam Cleeland (1)
  • Andre' Davis (1)
  • Heath Evans (1)
  • Terry Glenn (1)
  • Michael Hoomanawanui (1)
  • Charles Johnson (1)
  • Laurence Maroney (1)
  • Mathew Mulligan (1)
  • Chad Ochocinco (1)
  • Patrick Pass (1)
  • David Thomas (1)
  • Brian Tyms (1)
  • Dedric Ward (1)
  • Matt LaCosse (1)
  • Ryan Izzo (1)
  • Elandon Roberts (1)
  • Antonio Brown (1)
  • Mohamed Sanu (1)

Postseason: 73 TDs to 28 different targets

  • Rob Gronkowski (12)
  • David Givens (7)
  • Danny Amendola (5)
  • Julian Edelman (5)
  • Deion Branch (4)
  • Chris Hogan (4)
  • Wes Welker (4)
  • Jabar Gaffney (3)
  • Benjamin Watson (3)
  • James White (3)
  • Aaron Hernandez (2)
  • Brandon LaFell (2)
  • Shane Vereen (2)
  • Mike Vrabel (2)
  • Phillip Dorsett (2)
  • Troy Brown (1)
  • Reche Caldwell (1)
  • Alge Crumpler (1)
  • James Develin (1)
  • Kevin Faulk (1)
  • Daniel Graham (1)
  • Bethel Johnson (1)
  • Brandon Lloyd (1)
  • Randy Moss (1)
  • David Patten (1)
  • Nate Solder (1)
  • Dion Lewis (1)
  • Danny Woodhead (1)

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Why Deion Branch is confident Antonio Brown saga won't derail Patriots

Why Deion Branch is confident Antonio Brown saga won't derail Patriots

The New England Patriots are used to snuffing out distractions before they spread.

But their latest signing may be Bill Belichick's toughest challenge yet.

Antonio Brown is already involved in controversy stemming from a civil lawsuit filed against him Tuesday night -- one day after the Patriots signed him in free agency -- accusing him of rape and sexual assault.

Belichick swatted away several questions about Brown's lawsuit Wednesday, and former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch believes the head coach will continue to take the same approach to avoid Brown becoming a season-impacting distraction.

"Everything starts with Bill," Branch told TMZ Sports in a recent interview. "It starts with your leader on the team. Coach Belichick, out of all the years he's been coaching and been a part of numerous different organizations, trust me, this ain't the first time something like this has came up with some of his players. He will do what's best for the organization, that we all know."

Brown's teammates were forced to field (and mostly deflect) questions about the wideout Wednesday. The noise likely won't die down anytime soon, but Branch, who spent six-plus seasons in New England in two separate stints (2002 to 2005; 2010 to 2012), believes the Patriots players are equipped to handle it.

"It's tough, especially when you hear things of that nature," Branch said, referencing the allegations made against Brown. "The most important thing is just for you to carry out your assignment, do your job while you're there.

"If you don't have anything to do with it, you stay far away from it. And I know these guys will do that."

The Patriots already have insisted they're just focused on the Miami Dolphins this week -- even if it's unclear if Brown will join them.

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