Report: Patriots WR Branch reworks final year of contract

After trading a fourth-round draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Deion Branch earlier this week, the New England Patriots hope the wide receiver and quarterback Tom Brady can rekindle some of that old chemistry.

Branch is banking on it as well.

He adjusted the final year of his contract Thursday, forgoing a $5.95 million salary for a heavily incentive-laden one in 2011, according to the Boston Herald. He has two years left on a six-year, $39 million contract he signed with Seattle after being traded in 2006 by New England, where he spent four seasons.

Branch, who is scheduled to earn $5.47 million this season as part of the six-year, $39 million deal he signed with Seattle when he was traded there by New England in 2006, reduced his 2011 base salary by more than half, according to the report.

Branch confirmed that his contract had been restructured, but he didn't give details. His agent, Jason Chayut, didn't return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Herald noted that Branch's renegotiated contract likely will help facilitate an extension for Wes Welker, who is scheduled to earn $2.5 million next season. With Randy Moss shipped to the Minnesota Vikings, Welker is unquestionably the Patriots' most valuable receiver and likely will command more money than Branch, who's 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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