In response to dapats1281's comment:
That stinks. Doesn't kill us. But Branch can not stretch the field the same way Stallworth or even Edelman could.
He's no more than another possession receiver. As much as I love Branch, part of me wishes they just brought who ever the fastest receiver is on the FA market.
You can probably go man to man on Branch with your 3rd or 4th best cb. At least when it comes to speed, you have to have someone who can go toe to toe.
Pats screwed up with their I.R. desgination. Should've been Demps instead of Shiancoe. If Gronk and Hern were never hurt, would Shiancoe even see any snaps?
Demps held value as a returner and rb (a position that was somewhat of a question mark coming into the season).
Also, don't know what they plan on doing with Demps for next season, considering we are have good rb depth now, but I hope they can work on his route running and make him a rb/wr hybrid.
As said many, many times, Shiancoe has nothing to do with Gronk. Fells is Gronk insurance. Shiancoe was Hernandez insurance, but Pats now see Huma is a more valuable player due to his ST and blocking ability.
I believe you are correct, in hind sight, if the Pats knew what they had in Huma sooner, they would have swapped Demps and Shiancoe with the designation