Deion Branch Talks Hernandez, NFL Future at Skills and Drills
For an eighth year, Albany native and NFL veteran Deion Branch was back with his Albany Skills and Drills camp, claiming the day as one of his favorites of the year.
Though, football wasn't the only topic for the former Super Bowl MVP on Saturday.
Branch was a teammate of former New England Patriot, Aaron Hernandez, for all three of Hernandez's NFL seasons.
This week, Hernandez was charged with first degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd making national news. Subsequently, the tight end was released from the Patriots. On Saturday, Branch shared his thoughts on his former teammate.
"That was shocking to a lot of us. The entire world was shocked by it," Branch said.
"I'd say overall, he's a great kid. Aaron's a great kid and I hope that he didn't have anything to do with it. That's pretty much all I have to say about it. Other than that, I'll let the Boston and North Attleboro Police Department take care of it."
Branch is currently an unrestricted free agent going in to his 12th NFL season and isn't planning to slow down soon. The receiver isn't looking to play four or five more seasons, but said his body feels good enough to handle the NFL grind a few more years.
Obviously, Branch is hoping to get a call back for another year in New England the team that has been his home for seven of his eleven professional seasons. However, with Branch's will to play, any option hitting the table is fair game.
"The good thing to do is to retire as a Patriot. That is something that everybody would say...I want to do, they want me to retire as a Patriot," Branch said.
"If that happens, it happens. If not, if they choose to start grooming the younger guys, I understand. Then, I have to move elsewhere."
The turnout for Saturday's camp totaled 60 at the Albany State Coliseum. Every year, it's more than just football talk for Branch and his campers. Before hitting the field, the Super Bowl XXXIV talked with campers about making wise life choices and picking a healthy diet.
Branch says there's no plan to stop this event in the near future.