Friday, August 27, 2010

SEAHAWKS: It's do or die for Deion Branch this season

The Seahawks have had their fair share of busts. Rick Mirer, Brian Bozworth, Koren Robinson, and I could just keep going on and on. They all have been classified as a "bust" because they either a) got paid a lot and didn't perform or b) got drafted high and didn't perform. There is one player who falls into category "A" that needs to prove himself this season not to be labeled forever a bust.

Deion Branch.

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Many of his critics have already labeled him as a bust so far and want to cut him because of the amount of games he has missed (17 out of 64) along with his high salary of $5.47 million this year. On the flip side, every year his diehard fans say, "OK, this is his breakout year guys!" What do I think?

I'm with the critics.

Let me explain. Last year Deion had 45 receptions to go along with 437 yards. That would be a decent year by most standards, but because of his high salary, a lot more is expected of him. To put his paycheck into perspective, Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers is getting paid less than Branch (4.4 million) but racked up 65 receptions and 982 yards. Strike one against Branch.

We obtained Branch through a trade with the Patriots. He was coming off a 70 reception season so Tim Ruskell was convinced that he would be worth a 1st round pick and a new contract.

He wasn't.

He was somewhat worth it his first season, catching 53 balls, but missed two games. And the rest, as they say, is history. And by history I mean 3 more injury riddled seasons where he missed 15 games and averaged 3 touchdowns. The saddest thing is the draft pick the Seahawks gave up turned into Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather. Strike 2 on Branch.

Deion is 31 years old and probably has already passed his prime, which makes a "bounce back" season kind of unlikely for him, despite is strong showing in the first two preseason games thus far. I would be happy to swallow my words and see him turn into his old self and get 70 catches and 900 yards, but I just don't see it happening. This "rant," if you would like to call it that, is more directed to franchise destroyer Tim Ruskell than to Deion Branch. Branch was just a victim of getting overhyped and not being able to meet impossible expectations. Nonetheless, if Deion doesn't produced this year, It'll be strike 3 for him and he will be out (of town).

Reach Nathan Parsons at