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Branch is a true #1

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Having just received KC Joyner's the Football Scientist 2005, and devoured it thoroughly when not working in the yard, I conclude based on his amazingly thorough evaluation that Branch is a true #1 and should be paid as a #1, if paid at all. In '04 he got open and caught passes better than any WR in football and capped it with the SB MVP. If his conventional production, as measured by old school stats, does not help his argument in '05, that is likely a function of the way the Pats ran their offense, and of David Givens underwhelming performance in '05, which allowed opposing teams to slant their coverage toward Branch and take him out of play. I will be eager to see Joyner's '06 book to revise my opinion if necessary, but as of now the choice in my eyes is pay Branch as he deserves, which is as a top 10 receiver, or let him go in '07. Those arguing he is not really a #1 should take a look at the Joyner book. I found it enlightening on a number of players...
  2. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In 2004 Deion did not drop a pass.
    In 2005 Deion dropped several. I do not see how Givens can be blamed for that.

    What was so underwhelming about Givens' performance in 2005??

    Why is it that Branch has had more success with Givens in the lineup than
    without Givens in the lineup???




    I am arguing that Deion is not a Top 10 receiver. Therefore, he does not deserve to be paid as a Top 5 receiver ($12 million in guaranteed money is Top 5 money for a wideout) with a year left on his contract. Where is the injury risk discount?? 12 million in guaranteed money with a year left on the contract, is not a discount. Brady's deal included an injury-risk discount (that is, Brady took less than what he was worth because he passed on the injury-risk contract to the Pats two year early). Seymour, Green, and Light all gave the Pats an injury-risk discount with their deals. Where is Branch's??
  3. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I love Deion, but I think of him more as a "1B" type WR, simply b/c of his lack of size - it prevents him from just going up and grabbing balls away from defensive backs. Don't get me wrong, he's amazing in everything he does, but a Randy Moss or a Steve Smith can just haul balls in no matter where they are placed. Deion does his best, but unfortunately, a few inches does make a difference.

    I think it's very important we bring Branch back, but at a reasonable price. What kind of money do you consider #1 money?

    As for Givens, well, he is being tremendously overpaid as he's nowhere near a #1 receiver. He fit extremely well in our offense and was a machine at getting to the first down marker, but he's not surehanded enough to be a #1, and had some bad drops last season. Additionally, a few of Brady's picks last season were the result of Givens not coming back to the ball, and simply watching a DBack run in and pick it away.
  4. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I was a Twig backer from day one but once again Miguel posted the Cold Hard Football Facts and tells us that The Twig is a 2nd tier #1. Bummah.

    In this instance there is a true gap between the perceptions of the Pats' camps and The Twig's, unlike with Brady & Big Sey's camps. Not good.
  5. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I really can't say I have any idea where the negotiations are. I don't know what the Pats have offered. The only thing I disagree on with you, Miguel, is our view of Deion's ability. I think he is a top 10 receiver. But if the Pats don't believe paying him according to his talent is in their best long term interest, then I support them, however bitter a pill that is to swallow, and however compelling a talent and personality Branch may be.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  6. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    Branch a top 10 WR?

    let me name better than him ..not in order

    RandyMoss
    SantanaMoss
    Steve Smith
    Tory Holt
    Terrell Owens
    Anquan Boldin
    Larry Fitz
    Hines Ward
    Plaxico Buress
    Chad Johnson
    Andre Johnson
    Isaac Bruce
    Javon Walker
    Derrick Mason
    Marvin Harrison
    Reggie Wayne
    Joe Horn
    Darrell Jackson

    those are better..more impact guys.

    I love Branch..my sig is Branch..but hes not a top 10..top 20 yes but not 10
  7. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Remix 6,
    I'm not sure what you mean by "impact"... If you mean getting open and catching the ball, like BB has said time and time again, IMO Branch is top 10. If he had a good receiver playing across from him everyone would know it. Hopefully this contract stuff is settled and Chad becomes what we hope he will be. Then Branch will go absolutely crazy on the field, in a good way.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  8. rabthepat

    rabthepat Rookie

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    I agree with you...

    He is not top 10 and we should not over pay him. I would love to keep him but at the right price.

    Also, I am very leary about using his SB MVP as a justification for paying him big time. There has been plenty of SB MVPs who then later under achieve. Larry Brown and Desmond Howard to just name two.
  9. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IIRC, the Pats offered Givens a 5 year, $17 million deal. That action tells me more than anything that KC Joyner may write that Givens is a good receiver.
  10. PatsFanInVa

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    Pony, I disagree. He struggles in double coverage, never mind triple. You can take him out of a game without diverting too many resources. Defenses do not have to game-plan for Branch. The point here is, Branch is not a game-breaker on his own... but the Pats don't want or need him to be.

    Don't get me wrong... nobody could balk if a non-distracting version of T.O. walked in, all humble, and asked for five mill a year (a pittance for TO level talent.) The Pats wouldn't kick him to the curb for being "too talented." But in the real world, those guys cost disproportionate amounts of money. The Pats have a spread attack, which means there is no need for the "true number one" we argue the definition of incessantly.

    Branch is still young. He might grow into what you think he is. I hope he does just that, and I hope he does it in New England. I agree he's a "1B," a status that works better in NE than it might in, say, Minnesota. I hope he realizes that aspect as well, but I think he's young and has never failed at anything, like any pro athlete with some measure of success.

    That creates a likelihood of an inflated sense of self-worth. Hey, go for it, Deion -- grab for that brass ring! But see the thing is... you may be wrong.

    There is, of course, the option of playing for "1B" money in New England, to see if you can pull some "true number 1" seasons. But of course, a "true numebr one" might not thrive in the spread attack.

    High risk, high reward. I say stay and get some rings, and let the guys in Canton sort it out.

    .02,

    PFnV
  11. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Maybe they felt Givens would become better over time, and that he would grow into his role. maybe they liked his attitude, his work ethic, and Brady felt comfortable with him. '05 was only Givens' 2nd full year of starting, I believe.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  12. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Let me add to Miguel's fine points, just to play Devil's advocate.

    In 2004 the Patriots made a strong move to acquire Derrick Mason - someone who most would agree is a #1 WR - and very nearly landed him.

    The fact that the Pats would make such a strong move should give some insight to how the team views Branch.

    Now look at Branch's stats. I like the guy, don't get me wrong, and I want him back - but he has one year and one year only with numbers at a 2nd tier #1 level.

    Think back to Troy Brown's 2001 & 2002 season. Damn impressive numbers there no? But did you really think of Troy Brown as a #1 WR? Sure he got a lot of catches and stepped up when we were thin at WR, but were people clamoring to give Troy a multi-year deal at #1 WR money?

    No, of course not - because Troy is not a #1 WR... and if we had given him that contract, the numbers bear out what return we'd receive for our investment.

    Now compare Branch's stats with Mason's consistency between 79 an 96 receptions for 4 years straight. And consider that had we signed Mason, would anyone really be looking at Branch as a #1 WR given the receptions he'd have gotten with Mason on the team? Or Givens for that matter?

    The Patriots front office has a way of seeing players for what they are, not for what short term statistics might be construed by a players agent.

    In the end, it may be that supply and demand require the team to re-sign Branch - and given the supply and demand and the new CBA salaries, that amount would probably be pretty high.

    But I've got confidence that the team will do a good cost-benefit analysis and could even have their eye on someone they value higher than Deion, who does project long term #1 numbers.

    Maybe that person IS Deion, but from our perspective, one season with 78 catches isn't enough for us to know for sure.
  13. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    That's the key right there. A true #1 doesn't need that. Look at T.O. in Philly. Who did he have? FredEx.

    Even Branch said he get's lost in double-coverage.
  14. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I haven't reviewed Scientific Football for the 2005 season, because it comes out in late Summer, so what you say may be true. But after reviewing the 2004 version, what you say may also be false. All of us may be arguing the wrong point anyway. The question may not be whether Deion is a top 10 receiver, but whether philisophically BB wants to pay market value for top-10 receiver talent, even when he has it.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  15. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I wish that I wrote this.

    Excellent point, Joe.
  16. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Since you must be talking about TO's 2004 season, who did Branch have playing across from him in 2004 when he was the best receiver in the NFL at getting open and catching the ball? What I meant in your quote is that Branch's excellence would become more obvious under those circumstances to the world at large, who does not analyze his play by any method other than conventional statistics. Also, you may be confusing a #1 receiver with a HOF receiver.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  17. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Maybe they viewed Mason as a #2. The presumption the Pats wanted Mason as a #1 is pure speculation. Also, the attempt to acquire Mason seems to me to be a direct reflection of dissatisfaction with Givens, as I suggested earlier.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  18. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    So what specifically in the Joyner book helps you support that opinion?? Just looking to see WHY you think that way?? Given Remix's 18 receivers...why is Branch better than ha;f of them??? I agree with Miguel on this one...totally!!!
  19. Willie55

    Willie55 Rookie

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    How is that tabulated and who is KC Joyner?
  20. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Would Branch be worth a 6 year 25M deal with 8M up front? That averages to a little over 4 million a year. That is Givens type money. But not quite #1 money.

    I guess I'm feeling a little ambivalent about Branch's contract. On the one hand he is not a top 5 or top 10 WR. On the other hand he is the best experienced WR the Pats currently have.

    I think if the Pats can't settle something longterm maybe they could offer him a raise to 4M to play for this year and think about letting him go after 2006.

    Considering the Pats habitual financial frugality I don't think they outbid everybody including the Ravens in order to land what they considered a solid #2 WR.

    Could you post the formulations that have you convinced that Branch is a top 10 wideout in the NFL? So far we only have your word that you read some publication that postulated that. But I don't see any facts to back it up yet.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006

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