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Branch may not need to play this year

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by braveht, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. braveht

    braveht Practice Squad Player

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    Reading some of the nflpa legal stuff that Fungi linked to a few days ago I found this:

    ARTICLE XIX Top

    VETERAN FREE AGENCY

    Section 1. Unrestricted Free Agents:

    (a) Subject to the provisions of Article XX (Franchise and Transition Players), any player with five or more Accrued Seasons, or with four or more Accrued Seasons in any Capped Year, shall, at the expiration of his Player Contract, become an Unrestricted Free Agent. Such player shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club, and any Club shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with such player, without penalty or restriction, including, but not limited to, Draft Choice Compensation between Clubs or First Refusal Rights of any kind, subject to the signing period set forth below.

    Since he has played in 4 capped years he'd be free when his contract expires, which I guess is a specific date rather than " five years". I'm an engineer , not a lawyer, an am not looking at specific legal documents, so don't panic. Let's hope it resolves amicably in the next few hours.

    Regardless of what happens, we all should be thankful for the great team we have to support. My son-in-law (a Raven fan) had tickets for last night's game with the Redskins. (Yawn. 40 cheerleders. yawn) Neither team gives a tenth of the promise for an exciting fall that the Pats do.
     
  2. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    If he doesn't play this year, his contract doesn't expire. He owes the Patriots another year of service.
     
  3. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I believe the issue is that he is under contract for a 5th season with the Pats. That doesnt mean 2006, it means the 5th season he plays. In other words if he stays away he never completed the 5th year of the contract, and 2007 becomes the 5th year.,
     
  4. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    The little weasel's rookie contract does not expire until he has five accrued seasons with the team. If he holds out for the entirety of this season, he would not be credited with an accrued season and, therefore, would remain under contract with the Patriots for another year.

    As a practical matter, NFL players only have "x" number of years in the tank. Sitting out a season costs a player one of those years. That's money they will never see. Figure the little weasel has six more seasons to earn a footbally paycheck. Does he really want to give up one of those?
     
  5. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Excellent post. I was researching some of that myself. The new CBA favors the players in so many ways. For those who expect the team to "deactivate" Branch if he decides to sit out, it's not that simple. The TO decision has been reversed. Here's the exact wording from the CBA extension:

    The Patriots do have options though - one of them is to recoup all of the money in fines owed them.
     
  6. Aldogg

    Aldogg Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I thought we could put him on a "Inactive/Did not report" type list. What Branch is doing is different from TO. TO was told "Don't bother showing up" Branch is sitting at home breaking his contract, so wouldn't it be two different situations.
     
  7. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    That's a good question. Ultimately, Branch would need to report by week 10 in order to accrue a 5th season. At that point the Patriots could only suspend him for 4 games. After that they'd have to pay him or release him.

    Bottom line, the Pats cannot deactivate Branch like Tampa did to Keyshawn a couple of years ago.
     
  8. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Keyshawn was being paid the entire time. The Pats would pay Branch, in accordance with the CBA, but would find a way to keep him off the field.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What is the upside of that?
    I can timagine this will come to Branch walking in the door week 10, but if he does, and he is one of your best 53 players, you play him rather than paying him and making him sit on his @ss because you are mad. Winning trumps feelings and ego.
     
  10. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Well you can pay a guy to be a cancer in the locker room, on the practice field, and who knows what kind of effort your going to get from him, or you can pay him not to be and do whatever we did from week's 1-10 at WR.

    Locker room chemistry trumps a talented malcontent.
     
  11. braveht

    braveht Practice Squad Player

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    That's your belief, but what is filled in on the std. contract form will be more binding, eg

    APPENDIX C

    NFL PLAYER CONTRACT

    THIS CONTRACT is between________"d branch___________________________
    _____________________________, hereinafter “Player,” and____________
    _____________________________________________________________,
    a ___the Pats_________________________________________________________
    corporation (limited partnership) (partnership), hereinafter “Club,” operating
    under the name of the ____________________________________________
    __________________________ as a member of the National Football League,
    hereinafter “League.” In consideration of the promises made by each to the other,

    Player and Club agree as follows:

    1. TERM. This contract covers ___"five(5)"_______ football season(s), and will begin on the date of execution or March 1, ____"2002"______, whichever is later, and end on February 28 or 29, __"2007"________, unless extended, terminated, or renewed as specified elsewhere in this contract.

    The numbers in quotes are mine!!!!!

    The contract would expire next Feb, 28 whether he plays at all...

    "unless extended, terminated, or renewed as specified elsewhere in this contract."

    Without one of the 6 copies of the contract ...we are guessing and believing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2006
  12. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No you are mistaken. Branch does not receive a year of service credit contractually unless he reports and is available to play in the last 6 games of a season. The section you are looking at is for UFA who are tagged and choose not to play. They can sit for a year and become UFA. If a player under contract fails to report or is unavailable to the team due to a non-football injury teams are entitled to recoup that year of service before the player under contract can become an UFA.

    As for the suspension language, he would have to be suspended for something other than the holdout - he's entitled to holdout and the penalty is fines through TC and the pre season and forfeiture of game checks (which is how these guys are paid - one-seventeenth including the bye at a time) once the season starts. And the suspension would not have precluded his reporting "on time" to meet his available for service requirement. And the grounds would have to be pretty compelling as an arbitor would likely have the final say on whether or how much of a suspension is even upheld.
     
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I read this to mean that a team can deactivate and suspend a player for up to four games for disciplinary reasons such as dogging it or disrupting the locker room, and no more. A player needs to have six active games a year in order to get an "accrued year". If I were a player, it would mean to me that I better report with at least ten games to play so that with a suspension included, I would get my requires six games credit.

    If that is so, then what is different from Branch's 2005 season when he only played for 10 games or so...
     
  14. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    Hey guys, first post here for me. So as of now Branch is on the inactive/did not report list. My understanding was that the Patriots actually have to file to remove him from this list. The question is, are they obligated to do so as soon as he reports? If not they could simply wait and file to have him removed after game 11. The question really is why would they want to do this at all? If they think he's serious about sitting till week 10 they should look to deal him elsewhere even if they only get 50 cents on the dollar, since he would then presumably walk with no compensation for the Pats at the end of the 06 season. This is really a great site by the way!
     

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