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Colts sign Albany native Branch

Albany native Deion Branch talks before the Super Bowl two years ago as a member of the New England Patriots. Branch will play against the Patriots on Saturday after being signed by the Colts on Monday. (Reuters)

Albany native Deion Branch talks before the Super Bowl two years ago as a member of the New England Patriots. Branch will play against the Patriots on Saturday after being signed by the Colts on Monday. (Reuters)

The Indianapolis Colts agreed to contract terms with veteran wide receiver Deion Branch, the team announced Monday.

Branch, a native of Albany and a standout at Monroe High School, has 518 receptions for 6,644 yards with 39 touchdowns in 140 regular season games (111 starts).

Branch also has 64 catches for 948 yards with four touchdowns in 17 postseason games (13 starts). He is a two-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots and was MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX when he tied a record with 11 receptions in the game. In all, he has 21 catches in three Super Bowl appearances.

Branch set a team playoff record with 153 receiving yards on eight catches in the Patriots’ divisional playoff against the Denver Broncos in 2005.

The Colts take on the Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs on Saturday.

“We have a pool of guys in case you have injuries,” coach Chuck Pagano told ESPN.com. “Deion was one of the guys we worked out. He’s a local guy who lives in Carmel, [Ind.], he’s in great shape, had a great workout and obviously he’s a proven guy and played at a high level for a long time in this league. With him being right here in our backyard and us having some familiarity with him from just working him out, it just made sense to bring him on board at this point.”

Indianapolis also promoted wide receiver Josh Lenz from the practice squad, released defensive tackle Christian Tupou from the practice squad, and placed defensive end Fili Moala and cornerback Greg Toler on injured reserve.

Branch first worked out for the Colts in December.

“We figured the questions were going to come up that we were signing this guy who spent some time in New England,” Pagano said. “Is it just a coincidence or do you need the guy to help you win a football game and help your team? Every decision we make is based on what’s best for this team and what gives us the best chance to win, and we think we have one heck of a football player.”