Pats fans react to release of Deion Branch
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Friday’s Patriots cuts are a sign of a changing of the guard in Foxboro.
For some fans gearing up for the start of the regular season, news of the Patriots releasing wide receiver Deion Branch came as a sad surprise.
“He's gone. I can't believe it, I can't believe it,” said Julie Bell, a Patriots fan.
Branch was Super Bowl 39's MVP and has long been a fan favorite. But for many, they saw the move as all business.
“A lot of players helped us along way and are not with us anymore,” said Trevor Perry, a Patriots fan.
“I'm not shocked. That was a long time ago and he certainly has been a good Patriot,” said Erik Reilly, a Patriots fan.
“They have a lot of stars and a lot of athletes on the team but someone had to go,” Perry said.
The Patriots bench is deep with stars; newly anointed ones like tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and stalwarts like Wes Welker.
But the only ones now with Super Bowl championship titles are Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork.
“Big fan. I’m not sure what they were thinking but we're gonna miss him,” Bell said.
While fans are disappointed to see Branch let go, many say they see it as coach Bill Belichick's way of positioning the Patriots to win another Super Bowl.
“Guys’ salaries dictate who you can have on the roster and everything ever year. So if you want to stay successful year after year, you kind of have to balance the salary cap along with the players you want,” said Chris Sheehan, a Patriots fan.