Friday, February 19, 2010
Patriots Should Stay Away from the Branch
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
This past season the Patriots did not perform to fans’ expectations. Fans are yearning for the earlier years in the decade when New England won three Super Bowls in four years.
By remembering those magical teams, some prominent names long gone are thought of once more. One of those players is open to a reunion.
Seahawks receiver Deion Branch told the Boston Herald Thursday that he would be open to a trade that brought him back to New England, where he won two Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl XXXIX MVP.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has reportedly said while he won’t release Branch, he would be open to trading him.
Branch has responded that he enjoyed his time in New England and liked the coaching staff and players. It’s good to know there’s no ill will with Branch.
That being said, as things are now the Patriots should not be tempted to go after him.
The Patriots could use some help at wide receiver, especially after the injury to Wes Welker, but there are more glaring needs for pass rushers and help in the secondary. Those need to be addressed first.
What really makes Branch not worth going after is his current salary.
According to the Herald article, Branch will receive, in base salary, $5.47 million this season and $5.95 million next season.
Take a look at his production with Seattle and one will realize he is not worth that much money.
In four seasons as a Seahawk Branch has only 177 catches for 2,235 yards and 14 touchdowns (only two last season) compared to the 213 catches for 2,744 yards and 14 touchdowns in four seasons as a Patriot.
Some may argue that the Seahawks have not been nearly as efficient on offense as the Patriots, but Branch has also had health concerns missing 17 games due to various injuries in Seattle, compared to missing only 11 games as a Patriot.
Not only does he not merit making that kind of money but that is money that the Patriots are having issues giving to their own free agents, such as Vince Wilfork, who would have a much more positive impact on New England than Branch.
Not only would they have to pay him money he isn’t worth, they would also have to give up something to Seattle, most likely draft picks, to get him.
In a piece on the New England Sports Network website the author writes that if the Patriots don’t make a move though that someone else could come in and make a play for him.
Is that really a concern for New England though?
If a player isn’t good enough to make an impact or isn’t worth the value of his contract, why should the team even think of adding him, especially when there other positions of much higher concern?
Just because Branch enjoyed success as a Patriot five years ago does not mean he will enjoy the same success now.
In hoping to perform like they did in the past decade the Patriots should not fall into the trap of trying to recreate those teams with the same players when they just aren’t who they used to be.