It looks as if Deion Branch may be headed back to New England. And no, New England won’t be returning a 1st round draft choice.
I’ve never been an ardent Branch hater like many. The guy came to Seattle, suffered a freakish stretch of injuries and was never able to get it going in the limited time he spent on the field. Combine that with a poor offense and he never really had a chance to shine like he did in New England.
Honestly, the rumor is a bit baffling. Thus far, Pete Carroll has done a pretty masterful job of walking the thin line between making moves to keep the Seahawks competitive in 2010, but also adding pieces for the future. By doing this, he’s kept the “r” word (a clue: it rhymes with ‘mebuilding’) out of the media’s coverage of the Seahawks, a word that’ll do things like torpedo demand for season tickets, repel high profile free agents, among other things.
But this trade would most likely fetch a 5th round pick at best (more likely a 6th or even a conditional 7th), considering Randy Moss fetched a 3rd from the Vikings and Marshawn Lynch cost the Seahawks a mere 4th (what a steal, eh?!).
Unless Carroll truly believes he’s got what he needs in Mike Williams, Golden Tate, Ben Obamanu, Deon Butler and the newly acquired Brandon Stokely, this trade will make the Seahawks offense worse if a player isn’t received in return, either in exchange for Branch or in another trade that somehow hinges on the compensation of a successful SEA/NE trade.
Losing the Seahawks’ most experienced (and likely talented) receiver does not make them better right now. And a late round draft pick is highly unlikely to become an effective player in the future. Unless this trade is meant to acquire another player, I see little benefit for the Seahawks.
And although the Seahawks should be focused on nothing but the ‘r’ word, I’ll be honest: it’s kinda nice being competitive and winning with tough teams.