Patriots Get 2007 First-Round Pick
ESPN.com has reported that the New England Patriots have traded holdout wide receiver Deion Branch to the Seattle Seahawks for their 2007 first-round draft pick.
No other details have been confirmed. Nor is there any word on the status of his team-discretion $14,000-per-day fine for training camp and preseason days missed.
I don't particularly like the deal. I think New England should have gotten more in return for Branch. I also think that a first-rounder from another team would probably be more valuable than the Seahawks pick, because they should have a pretty good year, and the draft pick will be near the end of the round.
But, this does end this chapter of the saga, and that's a good thing, because it has been something of a distraction, and now we can move on to more important business, which is winning games.
Already today I've heard more than enough people saying "See what the Patriots are without Deion Branch?" following yesterday's very ugly 19-17 win over Buffalo at home. It's almost impossible to imagine that kind of ignorance, but there seems to be plenty of it.
I don't think Branch would have stopped Takeo Spikes' blitz on the first play from scrimmage that resulted in a Buffalo defensive touchdown. I don't think Branch could have filled the gaps on the offensive line that had Tom Brady running for his life. I don't think Branch could have prevented other receivers dropping passes in the hands, their chests and their facemasks.
I also don't think Branch would have added to the Patriots 183 yards rushing, or converted any of the key fourth downs, or stopped Buffalo's offense on their last seven possessions.
Would he have made Brady's life easier? Maybe. Certainly not "definitely."
No single player is above the team. Add Branch to the growing number who doesn't believe that.
The Patriots almost assuredly would be a better team with Branch. Whether he is "all that" remains to be seen. But this team will move on and win their fair share of games without him.
Who got the best deal?
This poll is closed
Neither. It's an even deal.