Posted September 22, 2013

Tom Brady reaches out to former receivers to try and fix Patriots passing game

AFC East, New England Patriots
Tom Brady appears to be hoping to get Deion Branch (left) back on the plane.

Tom Brady appears to be hoping to get Deion Branch (left) back on the plane. (David J. Phillip/AP)

It’s not a news flash that the New England Patriots have major issues with their receiver corps. They were without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola for their Sunday victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Julian Edelman leads the team with 27 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns through three games …  and a 7.4 yards per catch average. Tom Brady entered Week 3 ranked 29th in Football Outsiders’ opponent-adjusted efficiency rankings, and he’s been first overall in four of his last five seasons.

So, what’s Brady to do? The Pats may get another receiver before the late October trade deadline, and one assumes that Gronkowski and Amendola will be back in the lineup consistently at some point. But in the interim, New England’s quarterback has reached out to some old friends.

Mike Silver and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Sunday morning that Brady has called and texted Deion Branch and Brandon Lloyd, who combined for 90 catches, 1,056 yards, and four touchdowns in 2012. Per Silver and Rapoport, Branch is in Kentucky, and is ready and waiting by the phone if the Patriots call. However, Lloyd is not in game shape, because he’s been working on a straight-to-DVD zombie movie entitled After Effect with Daniel Baldwin. (Yes, if you’re a Sopranos fan like I am, you just made a Cleaver joke in your head).

No surprise that Brady is looking for any help he can get — whether or not he’s got the team’s approval to reach out to Branch and Lloyd. The Patriots need experienced receivers to run their complicated offense, and that experience is valuable even if said receivers are past their prime (like Branch) or exploring their acting options, Willie Mays Hayes-style.

31 comments
SamuelMyatSan
SamuelMyatSan

This story has been debunked. A correction should be inserted. 

EdEsposito1
EdEsposito1

Irving Fryar and Stanley Morgan are free and an upgrade.. 

bhairving
bhairving

Who is Tom Brady?  Are they talking about the passball league?

YemiThaBassMan
YemiThaBassMan

Terrell Owens is available and in shape. He's also motivated to work. Belichick likes guys who will come in and do their jobs. 

BlackieCats
BlackieCats

Like his hot wife said, he can't pass the ball to himself.

donnot
donnot

Brady already denied he did this.  Why would he want Branch back anyway?  He couldn't catch a cold last year.  Lloyd would be more likely, but even then, he has said publicly that he doesn't want to play football any more.  As usual, people just making things up.

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

Maybe he should have talked to Welker before they released him, and talked to Hernandez before he committed murder.

canadianox
canadianox

Clicked on this article because I thought Brady was asking for help undressing his wife.

ScottF2
ScottF2

Lol Branch would help?  He must be soooo desperate!

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

What in the world would indicate to this writer that Amenola and Gronk will be back in the lineup consistently at some point?  HUH?  Are you kidding?  All signs point to them NEVER being consistently in the lineup.  EVER.  What does it take for people to be realistic?  You can't count on those guys.  Period.  

The ONLY reason the Pats are 3-0 is because they got the most favorable opening three games any team could EVER hope for.  Two rookie qb's on mediocre/bad teams AND a team in disarray that HATES it's head coach.  

They are about to play some real NFL teams.  See what happens then.  

whitezb1974
whitezb1974

So somehow Brady is the GM?   This article is complete BS.  Any texts between Brady, Branch, or Lloyd have nothing to do with them joining the team.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Brady should just play and stop trying to be the fricking GM.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Anyone thinking danny would last 2 games was over stretching. This guy is made of glass more than rg3.and the rams knew, we knew , but so called genius kraft didn't?

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

If Brady was this proactive when Wes Welker was looking for some support against the management, he wouldn't be having this issue.

Markus
Markus

What a prima donna...........now Brady thinks he is general manager too

2001mark
2001mark

Well, today's game against the Bucs is showing a lot more rhythm with Dobson & Thompkins... they shouldn't bring old guys in to stunt that development.

Cool
Cool

Mr Kraft is so happy he let that dead beat go to Denver... great savings so far?

dwb_alpha
dwb_alpha

@EdEsposito1  Haha, good call Ed.  Call up Craig James or Mosi Tatupu to take Shane Vereen's place too!

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@canadianox Very thoughtful of you to announce to the sports world that you are a weirdo! Thanks for the info

no_this_is_not_gary
no_this_is_not_gary

@NoThanksESPNFacebookOh, you must be talking about that time this past offseason, when, remember, Brady restructured his contract bigtime to make plenty of cap room for the Pats to resign Welker. Completely on him!

HunterBishop
HunterBishop

@Markus I agree. I'm sure Peyton Manning had nothing to do with Wes Welker coming to Denver; he would never step outside his lane. 

noahwayne0
noahwayne0

@Markus - he knows his career is winding down fast, he is taking initiative - good for him

Azeron
Azeron

@2001mark You'e absolute crazy.  Do you think Brady cares about developing young guys?  He wants to win a Superbowl THIS year.  Those guys won't develop fast enough to do that.  The Patriots need a full clip.

rbeane1956
rbeane1956

@Cool Well they are 3-0! not a bad start for a team on the decline!

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

"Before the start of free agency, Brady agreed to a three-year contract extension through 2017 that created more than $15 million in cap space during the next two league years. When asked if the extension was motivated in part to create financial flexibility to ensure that Welker was re-signed, Brady rebuffed that he made such a request.

"Those aren't my demands," he replied. "I want us to field as competitive a team as we can. And I have all the trust in the world that Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft] and Coach Belichick do that. There's nothing about me, I don't say that, I'm not general manger. I can't say, 'I do this, you do this.' That's what my decision was. It was kind of a value proposition for me and wanting to be in this system with Coach Belichick and the other players that I've been able to play with."

This was what I meant. When push came to shove he didn't have Welker's back. It was just like "whatever happened". I never said he was a bad guy for taking a pay cut to make room but don't act like he stood up for Welker with the owners either.  Can't have it both ways. He doesn't want to act like the GM when Welker got thrown under the bus but now he's personally making calls to get passing targets. That's all i was saying.



rwill27
rwill27

@rbeane1956 @Cool Sounds like you are whistling in the graveyard to me. The Patriots haven't played a good team yet.

HunterBishop
HunterBishop

@NoThanksESPNFacebook It's a fair point, but it's not surprising that he said that he had no demand on Welker coming back. He'd never put the team in the position that made it look like they were not on the same page. 

Also, this isn't like Brady has come right out and said this. This is something that reporters dug up. This would've been completely private had journalists not discovered it. I'm sure Manning reached out to Wes Welker to bring him in, but that won't ever be public, either.