Waters Apparently Not Returning, Branch Still A Possibility?

Ian Logue
September 02, 2012 at 12:54pm ET

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No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs

Branch's locker remains intact for now. (FILE:USPresswire)

For most of the preseason Patriots fans had heard rumors that offensive lineman Brian Waters would likely be a Patriot in 2012 after hearing reports that his locker was intact, even to the point where Tom Curran reported on Friday that deliveries were made for the veteran.  Most thought at that point that it was just a matter of time before he came back for one more tour in New England, but apparently that's not going to be the case after all.

According to Patriots.com's Erik Scalavino, Waters locker has now been cleaned out.   That more or less closes the book on those rumors.

New England's biggest concern right now remains their lack of depth at right tackle as Marcus Cannon struggled during the preseason and Sabastian Vollmer only recently returned after recovering from offseason back surgery.  The concern there is if Vollmer suffers any setbacks, Cannon hasn't yet shown he's ready to be a starter on a full-time basis just yet.  Vollmer looked solid during his return and moved well, which is surprisingly good news considering he's only recently come off of the PUP list.

Meanwhile WEEI's Chris Price reports that Deion Branch's locker is still intact, which leaves the door open to the veteran potentially returning.  Branch was released in the final round of cuts, but knowing how successful he's continued to be in spots in their offense it makes sense that he could be brought back at some point.

On Saturday the Patriots made a move to add a receiver, acquiring  Greg Salas from the St. Louis Rams for a reported late-round draft pick in 2015.  Salas was a 4th round pick in last year's NFL Draft for the Rams and has experience in Josh McDaniels system, as McDaniels was with the Rams last year.  Salas appeared in six games last season with 27 receptions for 264 yards, but suffered a broken fibula which ended his rookie season.

New England also reportedly claimed off waivers offensive lineman Matt Tennant (a local favorite from Boston College), and released veteran linebacker Bobby Carpenter.