Patriots welcome back Deion Branch

The New England Patriots have pulled the trigger on the second phase of their Randy Moss expulsion.

BranchBranchESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots have acquired old friend Deion Branch to help fill the void created when they catapulted Moss from their roster last week. Schefter said the Patriots sent a fourth-round draft choice to the Seattle Seahawks for Branch, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX for the Patriots.

The Patriots had two fourth-round picks, having acquired another from the Denver Broncos for Laurence Maroney.

The Minnesota Vikings sent their third-round pick to the Patriots for Moss on Wednesday.

The Boston Globe reported Friday that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had been in frequent contact with Branch about a reunion before the Patriots traded Moss to the Minnesota Vikings.

In four games with Seattle this year, Branch had 13 catches for 112 yards and one touchdown. That might not sound like a lot, but he actually was their leading wide receiver. Tight end John Carlson has a team-leading 14 catches.

Branch spent his first four seasons with the Patriots, when he caught 213 passes for 2,744 yards and 14 touchdowns. He had 190 receptions for 2,347 yards and 15 touchdowns in more than four seasons with Seattle.