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Donte' Stallworth, Deion Branch battling for one spot?

Way back in May, we previewed the New England Patriots' wide receiver battle royale. We noted that Chad Ochocinco and Anthony Gonzalez both had uphill battles to make the roster. They have since been cut, which should simplify things.

ESPNBoston.com believes the true battle now comes down to Deion Branch and Donte' Stallworth. We agree.

Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney will all be on the team. Gaffney gets the nod over Branch and Stallworth because of his production last year and his skill set. Tom Brady loves Gaffney, who can line up in a variety of places on the field.

Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater should both make the team because of their special teams skills. (Edelman adds defensive value.) That's five wideouts, and there likely is only room for one more.

Branch and Stallworth are both outside receivers. Stallworth still has more speed, but Branch is a craftier route-runner. Branch has a long history with New England, but he could not beat single coverage enough last year.

We give Branch the edge, but it's a slight one. The Patriots would not have brought in so many options to replace Branch if they were happy with him having a big part in the offense.

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