Sunday, October 10, 2010

SEAHAWKS: Seahawks in trade talks with Patriots involving WR Branch

The Seahawks are in talks with the New England Patriots on a possible trade involving Seahawk wide receiver Deion Branch.

The talks have reportedly been taking place since Wednesday night.

Branch has been a Seahawk since 2006 and previously spent his first four years in the NFL as a New England Patriot before being traded to the Seahawks for a 1st round draft pick.

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His tenure in Seattle has proved to be disappointing overall. As a Seahawk, Branch has been plagued by injuries and has never racked up over 750 receiving yards a year or played in more than 14 games a year.

His Seattle stats over 4 seasons and 4 weeks: 2,347 yards, 40 games started, 90 receptions, and only 15 touchdowns. If you cut out his meager 112 yards, 3 games started and 13 receptions with 1 touchdown that he has this year, that’s an average of 559 yards, 9 games started, 44 receptions, and 3 ½ touchdowns each year.

Yes, Deion has lost a step, which was evident 2 weeks ago verses the Chargers when he caught a 41 yard pass and fumbled at about the ½ yard line as the defenders caught up with him, punched the ball out, and the ball bounced out of the back of the end zone for a touchback. Not to mention last week at St. Louis he was virtually invisible, catching only 1 pass for 10 yards. Not at all the numbers or performance of the number one wide receiver he was supposed to be for the Seahawks.

With the Patriots trading unhappy veteran and future Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday morning, they are looking for a “big play” wide receiver to fill Moss’s shoes. They had previously looked into San Diego’s Vincent Jackson, but when he proved too expensive they apparently turned their attention in the direction of Branch. Because of his success and popularity with the players and personnel in New England.

This looks to be a good fit for the Patriots. The Seahawks currently have a surplus of young, talented wide receivers and have strongly emphasized that they are going with a younger team and rebuilding this year, which leaves Branch as one of the odd men out. Not to mention he hasn’t really made an impact as the Seattle passing attack is ranked 21st in the land (for reasons which are debatable).

If this trade actually happens it would be just a part of the flurry of roster moves the Seahawks have made in the last week or so, with the signing of veteran receiver Brandon Stokley, the trade for Bills running back Marshawn Lynch, and the axing of running back Julius Jones. The Seahawks would probably just ask for a 4th round pick from the Patriots (who have double picks in the first four rounds) as compensation for Branch. That would essentially cover the difference in the trade for Marshawn Lynch.
Branch, age 31, is a 9 year pro out of Louisville and has one more year on a 6 year 39 million dollar contract he signed when he came over from New England and is getting paid 5.56 million this year. He was MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX (39), and had his best year in 2005; his last year with New England. He tallied a grand total of 998 yards, on 78 receptions and started in 15 games (he played 16) and caught 5 touchdowns in that year. He has been especially effective in the playoffs setting various team and NFL records for receptions and yards in various playoff games.

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