FOXBORO -- Tom Brady, sporting a Michigan State T-shirt after losing a bet to teammate Brian Hoyer, made it clear on Wednesday that he's tired of talking about Randy Moss.

 

Deion Branch is back, but can he have near the same success as during his first stint in New England? (AP)"You can't go back home … to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame … back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting.” — Thomas Wolfe



JERRY THORNTON

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Associated Press on Tuesday it's a realistic goal that the owners and players will reach a new collective bargaining agreement before the end of the 2010 season. Speaking at the NFL owners' meetings in Chicago, Kraft sounded an optimistic note about the state of the negotiations, saying "we're moving ahead" and he'd "like to see this get done before the season ends." Asked if that was a realistic objective, he added, "to me it is."

Deion Branch spoke to the media Tuesday following his return to the Patriots after Monday's trade that sent the wide receiver from the Seahawks to New England in exchange for a fourth-round pick. 

 

The Super Bowl XXXIX MVP was asked if he felt he was brought to New England to replace Randy Moss.

 

FOXBORO -- Wide receiver Deion Branch, acquired Monday from the Seahawks, was on the practice field Tuesday as he began his second tour with the Patriots.

 

Wearing No. 84, Branch walked on to the field with Tom Brady. The Patriots dealt a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft for the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, who ranks 13th in franchise history with 213 catches.

 

The Patriots made the acquisition of wide receiver Deion Branch official, announcing that the trade with the Seahawks had been completed in exchange for an undisclosed draft choice, reportedly the better of the team's two fourth-round picks in the 2011 draft. In order to free a roster spot for Branch, the Patriots placed tackle Nick Kaczur on injured reserve with a back injury.

 

In WEEI.com's Week 6 NFL Power Rankings, the Patriots remained in the No. 6 spot after the trades that shipped Randy Moss to the Vikings and that reunited Deion Branch with the team that drafted him. The Bears and Giants took leaps up the chart, while the Saints are out of the top five for the first time in more than a year. For the complete Power Rankings, click here.

During his weekly appearance with the Dennis & Callahan Show, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the report by CBS NFL analyst Charley Casserly that the QB had a heated confrontation with Randy Moss prior to the trade of the wide receiver wasn't accurate.

 

Randy Moss met with the media following the Vikings' 29-20 loss to the Jets on Monday night. Moss, who caught four passes for 81 yards and a TD in his first game since the trade from the Patriots, was asked about the report from CBS pregame analyst Charley Casserly that he and Tom Brady had a locker-room altercation a week before the trade.

 

"Tom sent me a text today," said Moss. "Tom, I know you're watching, buddy. I appreciate the text. Sorry we didn't bring it home buddy, but I appreciate the text." 

 

One man's account of the start of the Favre/Moss era AND the start of a new-found respect for ESPN. OK, maybe just the start of the Favre/Moss era.

9:15 p.m.: And after a 45-minute weather delay we have a kickoff. Good thing, because the announce crew was getting a little loopy trying to kill time. Look at this exchange at 8:56 p.m.:

Mike Tirico: Coach Gruden, you spent three years in Green Bay with Brett in the early 90s. I know it's been nearly 20 years  --



KIRK MINIHANE

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