FanDuel - WFBC

September 12, 2006

Is Branch worth a number 1 pick?: Just a week ago the talk was that Pats won't get anything better than a 2nd round for Branch. And now we hear why this is good for Seattle and bad for Patriots: "This is a known commodity," Ruskell said. "The first round can be a crap shoot, from top to bottom." "Fifty percent were busts," Ruskell said. Who were the Pats #1 picks this century? 2005 Laurance Maroney, 2004 Logan Mankins, 2003 Ty Warren, 2002 Daniel Graham, 2001 Richard Seymour, 2000 none (Klemm 2nd rounder) Umm, crap shoot? They are all starting for the Patriots this year! Thanks Seattle!

posted by endorfin to football at 12:36 AM - 27 comments

Because of Seattle's finish after this season, this will probably end up being anywhere from the 25th to 32nd pick in the draft.

posted by BigTallChris at 01:29 AM on September 12

Still the Pat's came way off what they were asking to start with. When Seattle first approached them they wanted 2 number 1's AND a number 2. I think they realized that Branch might win that arbitration so they settled for one first rounder. I think it is a good move for them. Branch should be a productive receiver and they sure needed one.

posted by T.C. at 06:26 AM on September 12

Or maybe it was just a bargaining tactic and all they wanted to begin with was a 1st round pick. Start the price high so you can get "haggled" down to what you wanted to begin with.

posted by apoch at 06:33 AM on September 12

Homer-FPP aside - try not to editorialize in the post, endorfin - this is the kind of thing that makes me not understand football. That said, from what I've heard this is more than a decent result for the Pats. Can't say it's a bad pick-up for the Seahawks either though. At least they're getting a starter 2nd receiver in a year they should do well.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:47 AM on September 12

I think it helped both teams. Seattle is worried Darrell Jackson's knee will be a problem, to some extent, all year. The Patriots had a pain-in-the-ass whiner who wasn't going to play for them, and they end up getting a first round pick? That's a great deal for them. Personally, I don't think there are many mid-level receivers worthy of a first round pick. 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 decision to trade Branch. That's a bunch of crap. The guy was out the door, regardless of whether it was this week or next year. The Patriots don't generally make any real poor deals, so I'm sure they're very pleased with the outcome of this one.

posted by dyams at 08:00 AM on September 12

Either way you slice it, the Patriots have done as well as they might expect. Branch wasn't going to play more than the minimum 6 games this year, and that only to fill the CBA requirements to retain his free agency rights. Had Patriots then tried to franchise him, he would once again have held out. A first round pick, even at somewhere between 25 and 32, is still a valuable thing, as endorfin has correctly pointed out. What is more interesting about the deal is the Patriots initiating tampering charges against the Jets. Supposedly the Jets informed Branch and/or his agent about the terms of their offer during the late-August period in which Branch was allowed to seek a trade. Patriots contend that the negotiations were to be between teams only, and that informing Branch in advance induced Branch to file the grievances that he ultimately did. Who knows? IMHO someone got to Branch long before he started holding out and made some under-the-table promises. Whoever might have done this knew exactly where Patriots would set Branch's value, and how they would eventually negotiate. If you want to finish piecing the puzzle together, look up who has a new head coach who was a former defensive coordinator with NE. Need I say more? OK, Jets fans, let the flames begin...

posted by Howard_T at 08:01 AM on September 12

I am shocked, shocked at the suggestion that the Jets might be attempting to tamper with and steal players from New England!!!

posted by Venicemenace at 08:06 AM on September 12

the Patriots have done as well as they might expect Do you mean, "after things went South"? I don't think this is the best possible outcome, at least not for this year, but I do think, local media nastiness to one side, the Pats were never going to be able to get through a bad agent to reason with Deion directly. Better hope Doug Gabriel and Chad Jackson can stretch defenses at least a little bit.

posted by yerfatma at 08:17 AM on September 12

Is Branch worth a #1? In a word, No. But Seattle had little to lose ( a potential 25th or higher pick) and they pick up a solid starter. New England gets more than if they would have let him sit for the year. I'd say it was a win/winfor both and now the rumor is the Pats are going after Jerry Porter of the Raiders who made an a$$ out of himself in their loss last night.

posted by BSUJIM at 08:41 AM on September 12

the rumor is the Pats are going after Jerry Porter of the Raiders who made an a$$ out of himself in their loss last night Doesn't that put the lie to the idea the Pats would pursue him?

posted by yerfatma at 09:09 AM on September 12

I can't believe everyone thinks Seattle will give the Pats a 25-32 pick in the first round. Was anyone watching on Sunday when they barely kicked their way past DETROIT? I watched that entire game, and not once did I think about Seattle in the SB. They're defense looks good as usual, but 9 points against the Lions? They had better put something together offensively soon, or New England may end up with a #10 first rounder.

posted by sublime4390116 at 09:54 AM on September 12

I agree with yerfatma. This was a salvage by New England. They should have made a deal last year instead of putting themselves in this position. There is only so long a Super Bowl MVP is willing to make the 2nd round minimum. Seattle has to be pleased. Branch would be a great addition to any WR corps.

posted by bperk at 11:58 AM on September 12

the Patriots have done as well as they might expect I should have added "under the circumstances" to the above. My comment would then have made more sense. I also agree that Seattle has gotten a pretty good deal out of this too. The old "bird in the hand" theory holds true here. I honestly do not know why Branch was so adamant in his demands. Yes, the Patriots probably undervalued him, but they are surely astute enough to have recognized this at some point during the negotiations with Branch. I also feel that unless Branch had some other guarantee, he would have been willing to move a bit from where he initially stood. As it turns out, once NE allowed him to seek a trade, the genie was out of the bottle. A first round pick is not a bad result, especially when you add to that the end to the distraction that came of the whole thing.

posted by Howard_T at 01:27 PM on September 12

Seattle needs help. I said they were way overated last year. Their performance in the Superbowl and the opener this year proves it. Now they get a top level receiver, former Superbowl MVP and the experience they desperately need. New England gets a first round pick which works out for them in the long run since they need to shake their roster up a bit anyway with so many Super Bowl veterens. Also because Seattle is overrated and New England knows it, that pick will be higher that the optimistic Seahawks think. Its a win win for both teams. Most teams after winning a couple of Superbowls go down hill fast when the players start demanding what they feel their worth after winning the big one. A smart organization deals off the high priced players for new talent before they hit the skids. Good job by New England keeping under the cap and remaining competitive.

posted by Atheist at 02:39 PM on September 12

No. His value can't be based on production alone. His abilities are tempered by his attitude. There is no guarantee that he won't repeat this behavior next year, or act up during the regular season. It seems that neither the league nor Branch nor agents have learned from the the past results of wide receivers behaving badly.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:25 PM on September 12

Wide Receivers Behaving Badly. Isn't that a FOX special?

posted by Thisguy at 04:21 PM on September 12

His abilities are tempered by his attitude. Everything I ever heard as a Pats fan in New England suggested Deion Branch has a great attitude.

posted by yerfatma at 05:48 PM on September 12

But who is NE going to throw to? NE's offense isn't going to take them far in the playoffs this year, and draft picks don't make first downs.

posted by chmurray at 05:55 PM on September 12

Interesting observations. As a New England fan, I see the "Dione Branch" issue differently. Most of us (fans) have no problem with his attitude, it is his durability that is in question. He gets less passes per season because he is fragile. Even if he was in camp day one, he would not have played much in pre-season - just like last year. It's not that the coaches wouldn't love a healthy Branch, they just know he will break down if you use him. That's the reason his season production isn't higher. Fantasy football fans - take Dione for a few weeks then dump him once he gets injured. That is the only problem for Seattle - use him and they'll lose him.

posted by endorfin at 05:57 PM on September 12

But who is NE going to throw to? The ol' Philadelphia Eagle/Donovan McNabb question now being asked in New England? I'm sure the Pats will work something out.

posted by dyams at 06:30 PM on September 12

Seattle needs help. I said they were way overated last year. Their performance in the Superbowl and the opener this year proves it. Yeah, they were only the NFC Champions. They totally suck balls. I can't believe everyone thinks Seattle will give the Pats a 25-32 pick in the first round. Was anyone watching on Sunday when they barely kicked their way past DETROIT? You two do realize it was the first game of the season, right? Even with the NFL's ridiculous preseason, teams are generally still refining their game-speed timing until about week three.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:55 PM on September 12

Anything that hurts the Patriots is fine by me...

posted by MI-STEELER at 09:38 PM on September 12

his durability that is in question He was hurt for part of 2004, his Superbowl MVP season. Has he had any other significant injuries?

posted by yerfatma at 06:12 AM on September 13

NFL FPPs around here are tough. Homerism destroys any chance of having a good football discussion. You end up just having to call out the more egregious statements for correction.

posted by bperk at 07:29 AM on September 13

chmurray: But who is NE going to throw to? Two rookies and Troy Brown. NFL FPPs around here are tough. Homerism destroys any chance of having a good football discussion. You end up just having to call out the more egregious statements for correction. MI-ALLCAPS-STEELER, consider yourself called out.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:39 AM on September 13

But who is NE going to throw to? Two rookies and Troy Brown. And two very promising tight ends, Watson and Graham, and Kevin Faulk, who has racked up more than a few yards after catches. NE has won Super Bowls with subpar running games and patchwork secondaries, I don't think it's a reach to say they can do it with spare-parts recievers. Good trade for NE, good trade for Seattle, good trade for Branch. I think it's a win-win-win.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:18 AM on September 13

And two very promising tight ends, Watson and Graham, and Kevin Faulk, who has racked up more than a few yards after catches. I was waiting for someone to suggest that as scary as it may seem to most to have only three healthy wide receivers on your roster, and as much as fans love to remember the long bombs, "throw short and run long" has been a very successful tactic for the Pats. "Two rookies and Troy Brown" wasn't intended to suggest that the situation is dire.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:56 AM on September 13

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