Branch grafted back in

The Patriots continued dealing, reacquiring WR Deion Branch from the Seahawks in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. Below are some thoughts on the move; we’ll compare it to other in-season trades at the trade deadline next week.

Deion Branch as a Seahawk

After trading away Randy Moss, the Patriots bolstered their receiving corps by bringing back Deion Branch from the Seahawks for a fourth-round pick. With Moss gone, the Patriots needed another outside receiver who could keep pressure off Wes Welker in the slot and allow Brandon Tate to develop. Branch may not be able to do this, because he topped out at just 53 catches in his four full seasons in Seattle, but his presence will undoubtedly make Tom Brady comfortable. Maybe Branch can emerge into a Jabar Gaffney-type threat for New England and deliver enough presence to keep Welker and Tate from being mobbed by defenders. Given Branch’s history with Brady, which includes a Super Bowl MVP trophy and 213 catches as a Patriot, the move makes sense. New England overpaid for Branch by giving up a fourth-round pick in 2011 (it’ll be the higher of New England’s pick or the pick the Pats acquired from the Broncos for RB Laurence Maroney), but from the Patriots’ perspective Branch will be more valuable than Maroney, and so the net result is a win. The Seahawks, meanwhile, get a solid asset back for a guy who has been starting but has just 13 catches this season. With youngsters Golden Tate and Deon Butler, reclamation project Mike Williams, and recently signed vet Brandon Stokley, the Seahawks didn’t really need Branch, so getting a pick they can use to upgrade their talent level works – as long as they don’t think about the first-rounder they traded away to get Branch for four mostly disappointing seasons.

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4 Comments

Filed under Football Relativity, NFL trades

4 responses to “Branch grafted back in

  1. Carl

    Branch will wear #84, formerly worn by Ben Watson and…Shockmain Davis!!

    I’ve heard a lot of people say they “overpaid” for him. Ok, fine. But there’s a much bigger difference between a 3rd and 4th round pick than there is a 4th and 5th or 6th (Aaron Hernandez notwithstanding), and don’t forget, the Pats GOT a #1 for Branch when he left.

    Although the analysis is a bit stretched, lets look at the pure value of the Pats’ WR moves:

    Randy Moss: Give a 4th, get a 3rd
    Deion Branch: Give a 4th, get a 1st

    The Patriot front office has definitely shown you a few things:

    1. That they don’t like to pay people…and I think this may hurt them among available FAs (to the extent they’d be interested in paying THEM) and
    2. If you’re trading with them, you’re probably on the business end of the deal (granted, this data is skewed by several Al Davis trades, including one Davis trade (Burgess) where the Raiders actually got over on the Pats.

    The Patriots won’t use all of these picks, but they have the Raiders’ 1st (likely to be top 10-15 despite the Raiders’ improvement), the Patriots’ 1st (20?), the Panthers 2nd (35ish?) in the upcoming draft.

  2. rn575

    They overpaid vs. market value, but when you look at it from the perspective of whether you’d have Maroney or Branch (which is basically the trade they made), I think Branch is the better value. So from that perspective, they used an asset they had a lot of to get something they needed. That makes it a good deal in the long run
    The Pats offense will be better w/ Branch (at least marginally), and they still have a crapload of draft picks, so that’s a good place to be.

  3. Pingback: MVN » Branch grafted back in

  4. Pingback: Ravens/Patriots thoughts « Football Relativity

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