Deion's value (and why he won't get traded)
First, I'm operating under a few assumptions. Any player trade made by the Patriots will reap some pre-determined value. The Patriots absolutely will not accept any lower than that value as compensation. I'm also assuming that goal #1 is to improve the team NOW, and that a WR is desirable but not mandatory.
To determine Branch's value, I'm going to use the Javon Walker trade as a precedent. Walker was traded for a early 2nd round pick, giving the Packers a value of 550. I'd expect the Patriots to hold out for a modestly higher value because (1) Branch has shown signs of caving, and is not as adament about his holdout as Walker was, (2) Branch is not coming off a season ending injury so the risk factor is relatively low and (3) Branch has established himself over several years now as Brady's primary target, and therefore carries greater value to his team. All things considered, I'd value him in the 600-700 range; accepting lower value for an established starter and demanding a higher value for draft pick(s). BTW, the 700 pt. draft position is #26.
The question is, are there any teams that are willing to give up that kind of value for Branch while also offering him a more attractive deal tham the 3yr $18 million we offered him? It would shock me.
Re: Deion's value (and why he won't get traded)
One player I would trade Branch for straight up is CB Nathan Vasher of Chicago. That would give us, IMO, the best CBs in the NFL. But I still think they'll work it out and Branch will stay a Pat.
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