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Old 09-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
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Default Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

Seahawks deal first-round pick to Pats for Branch
ESPN.com news services


The Deion Branch holdout is over, but he won't be playing for the Patriots this season.

New England traded the disgruntled wide receiver to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft pick on Monday, ESPN.com's Michael A. Smith has confirmed.

The Seahawks, along with the New York Jets, had fashioned a contract agreement with Branch before the season, agreeing to a six-year, $39 million deal that would have paid him $13 million in combined bonuses and about $23 million in the first three years of the contract. Neither team, however, could satisfy the demands of the Patriots, who were seeking first- and middle-round choices as compensation at the time, and the deadline set by New England passed without a trade.

Wide receiver Darrell Jackson, arguably the Seahawks' best receiver, has twice in the past year undergone surgery to his left knee. After missing 10 games in 2005, his durability has come into question. Jackson will return to the field on Monday, but he hasn't practiced since last February, in preparation for Super Bowl XL, and coach Mike Holmgren acknowledged the team will have to "be smart" in easing him back into action.

In addition, tight end Jerramy Stevens will probably miss the first month of the season because of a torn meniscus in his left knee. Stevens is an often-inconsistent pass-catcher, as evidenced in the Super Bowl, but he does provide Seattle with a big presence in the middle of the field. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, signed as a free agent in the spring, is still assimilating the offense, and is more of a deep threat who may not be the best fit in a West Coast-style passing game. Always-reliable wide receiver Bobby Engram, forced to play outside in 2005 because of injuries, is far more effective working out of the slot.

Branch, whose obvious displeasure with his current New England contract has not overshadowed the fact that he is regarded as a solid locker room presence and hard worker, could be the prescription for what ails the Seahawks' passing game right now.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2583149
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Branch Traded to the Seahawks

Wow. I know the Seahawks are desparate for people who can actually catch, but a first round pick? Guess they didn't have much choice.
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

So now they have Jackson, Burleson, Engram, and Branch...hhmm...I don't know if the seahawks really needed this trade.
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

T. Brady- 11/23 163 2td 1int

wide receivers - 4 catches for 51 yards.

a crippling blow to the leagues "best" passing attack and qb.

having 2 #1 picks between 16 and 23 should put them in good shape for rebuilding next season. maybe they can get some tips from crennell.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

They've got some pretty good depth at WR. I wonder if Jackson's knee isn't truly healed?
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

The question hasn't been how much will the Patriots miss Branch. He was gone. The question the Patriots have been asking themselves is how good to they think Brady will make Jackson, and Gabriel. BB and company just answered that question.
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post

a crippling blow to the leagues "best" passing attack and qb.

having 2 #1 picks between 16 and 23 should put them in good shape for rebuilding next season. maybe they can get some tips from crennell.
A crippling blow??? It very well could be!! Great compensation but that doesn't help out the Pats for this season.



They wont pay Branch but now they're gonna have two #1 picks next year?? That klinking sound you hear is Robert Kraft pinching pennies with his crab-claw.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

Belichick and Pioli do it again. They get a #1 for a guy who, while admittedly came up huge in the biggest games, was and is a #2. They get 4 good years out of him and when he wants more than his value, they get a #1.

almost as good as the Bledsoe trade. It may hurt a bit in 2006, although i suspect they'll sign another veteran WR at some point, but in the long run its a great day for the Patriots.
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Branch to Seattle for First Round Pick

Lots of talk out here today about the trade of course. I think most people were hoping that we could have gotten him for a 2nd round pick. But a lot of people counter with a bird in the hand argument... its better to give up a (hopefully late) first round pick for someone you know is good rather gamble on a draftee. WR was not one of our positions that had depth problems. But we had cap room and they chose to take a good available athlete.

From what I understand, Branch is a reciever that is a lot like our current top receiver Darrel Jackson with maybe more of a deep threat aspect to him. Sounds like he is pretty small but does a lot after he gets the ball. The one thing our WRs have had difficulty with has been getting seperation when teams jam them. There have been games when Hasslebeck has had few targets besides our TE Stevens. Word is that Branch does a really good job of freeing himself up. And he is only 27, so he hopefully has many productive years left in him.

We are going to have a lot of options now at WR now. I don't think anyone thinks this addition was going to make or break our offense. We anticipate its going to take a while to feel the benefit of his signing as it seems to take a while to learn our offense (See Nate Burleson). But I think most people think that it makes one of our better positions even stonger and is good insurance for an oft injured position.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:25 PM   #10
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Default Seahawks deal for Branch

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The New England Patriots ended the holdout of receiver Deion Branch on Monday by trading him to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft pick.
Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell called Branch "a known commodity," and added that a first-round pick "can be a crapshoot."

Seattle expects to finalize a new, multiyear contract with the MVP from the Super Bowl in 2000 in the next few days.

"It's tremendous. I think he's a fine football player and a tremendous young man. You can't have too many of those guys," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said.

"His representatives are flying in today," Ruskell said. "Obviously, we wouldn't have done this without the gist of the deal getting done."

Seattle now has four proven NFL starting receivers for Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and an offense that was sluggish in a 9-6 win in Detroit in its opener on Sunday

"Our quarterback, he's in his prime of his career," Ruskell said. "We want to give him all the tools to work with."

And, as Holmgren was quick to point out, "We still have the MVP of football on our team," 2005 league rushing leader Shaun Alexander.

"We still have to figure out how to get all the people on the field," a smiling Holmgren said. "That's the chess game for our coaches right now."

Branch was entering the last season of the five-year contract he signed as a rookie. He held out of the mandatory minicamp in June and all of training camp. He has been subject to a $14,000 fine for each day he held out from July 28, the start of training camp.

"It's been a long process," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I think we tried hard to make it work out. I think Deion tried hard. We tried. It didn't work out and we've moved on."

Branch was eligible for arbitration after this season, but Belichick said the prospect of a potentially contentious arbitration process was not "that big a factor" in the Patriots' decision to trade Branch.

In the 2005 Super Bowl, Branch had 11 catches for 133 yards against Philadelphia, helping the Patriots win their third championship in four years. Last season, he caught 78 passes for 998 yards and five touchdowns, all career highs. In four seasons, he has 213 receptions for 2,744 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Branch joins a team whose leading receiver, Darrell Jackson, missed the preseason. Jackson had not practiced until last week following his second knee surgery in four months, in February. Jackson played far more than expected in Sunday's 9-6 win over the Detroit Lions.

Seattle also has veteran Bobby Engram, former Minnesota Viking Nate Burleson and 2005 surprise D.J. Hackett in its receiving corps.

The last time the Seahawks traded their first-round pick for a veteran player was March 2, 2001, when then-general manager Holmgren traded for Hasselbeck.

The Patriots are without their top two receivers from last season. David Givens signed with Tennessee as a free agent for five years and $24 million, including an $8 million signing bonus.

On Aug. 25, the Patriots gave Branch, who had been scheduled to make $1.045 million this year, permission to negotiate a contract with other teams and seek a trade until Sept. 1. The NFL Players' Association filed a grievance on behalf of Branch after the Patriots did not trade him by the team-imposed deadline.

The grievance alleged that in allowing Branch to work out a contract with another team, the Patriots agreed they would trade him if Branch was comfortable with that contract and the draft choice compensation for him "was commensurate with what has been the value of similar players," union lawyer Richard Berthelsen said.

He said the New York Jets had offered a second-round draft pick for Branch, which Berthelsen said was of commensurate value.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Pre
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2583149
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