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Branch vs Graham

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by spacecrime, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    1. Who is more valuable to the patriots in the coming 5-6 years?

    2. How much will each one cost to retain?

    3. How hard would it be to acquire a player of similar talents in each case, should the player not be retained?

    4. How much would it cost to obtain a replacement for each? I guess the answer to this could be found in franchise, or better yet, transition tag numbers. IIRC, the transition tag is the average of the top ten salaries in the position. ANyone know the values for the transition tag for WR and TE?

    5. The first 4 quesitons lead to: Which provides more value to the Pats:
    a) Extending Graham, and signing a FA WR or drafting a WR to replace Branch, or
    b) Extending Branch, and signing a FA TE or drafting a TE to replace Graham.
  2. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Tight ends
    Franchise tender: $3,327,000
    Transition tender: $2,718,000

    Wide Receivers
    Franchise tender: $6,172,000
    Transition tender: $5,160,000
  3. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hard questions: I am answering as thinking about who could
    replace them that is now on PATs anticipated roster for upcomming year.

    1. Graham - more value in running game and passing game and ST.

    2. Don't know. Depends how reasonable they are willing to be and
    whether PATs agree to that but I would say it will cost significantly more to
    keep Branch.

    3. Grahams's blocking skills will be hard to match in a TE. IMO.
    Branch is very good but not irreplaceable.

    4. So many situations could exist next offseason. BB/SP may have a
    several low cost alternatives to Branch especially if Jackson does
    well this year.

    5. option a) is the value as I see it.


    I like the tripple threat TE unit that PATs have and would hate to see that
    break up.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    re

    1. I say Branch is more valuable.
    2. Graham - 2.5Mill, Branch - 4.9Mill
    3. Graham - You can find a good blocking TE with mediocre hands in the 3rd round.
    Branch - Branch is a legit weapon, and only a few WR's out of hundreds in the league can produce in big games.
    4. Cost of replacement...I don't know the franchise tag #'s, but in terms of draft picks, a Grahambo-talent could be found in later rounds of a draft while a Branch talent is found in early rounds.
    5. I would rather extend Branch, and sign a FA TE or draft a TE who will make half a mill and do the same things as Graham did.
    .
  5. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    . . . .
  6. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    You must not think very highly of our coach/GM to trade up 13 spots in the first round to get a third round talent, especially with other highly rated TEs still on the board.
  7. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Is this really a question? We all like Graham but if you have to choose between your #1 WR and a replaceable TE (yes, he is replaceable) would anyone pick the replaceable TE?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2005
  8. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    re

    On the contrary, I think VERY highly of Piolichick. I'm a big Kool-Aid drinker. However, I try not to let the Kool-Aid cloud my opinions of players.

    Just because they moved up 13 picks doesn't mean Graham is a legit 1st round talent. Remember the Pats took Bethel Johnson in the 2nd round, and he has turned into a 5th round talent at best.

    I think Piolichick makes choices based on context as well as value. Maybe they took Graham because they knew their O-Line would need help for a few years, and they didn't like the O-Line players available to them.

    In terms of current context, our O-Line is strong now, and we have good backups who can also play fullback or TE. I do not see as great a need for Graham in pass protection now.
    .
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
  9. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    JoeSixPat, it seems we are the only two who think Graham is replaceable. I did not realize it was almost impossible to find another good blocking TE.

    I think this question is silly based on our WR and TE depth...
    We have a rookie behind Branch, while we have an improving, athletic freak in Watson behind Graham.
    .
  10. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Watson isn't behind Graham. They're both starters in Belichick's planned base offense. So we have David Thomas behind Graham. We have either Caldwell or Jackson (depending on who wins the #2 WR) behind Branch.

    It's a coin toss to say which depth is better.
  11. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    How on earth has Branch become irreplaceable? I respect your opinion on the matter, but he's A LOT more replaceable than Graham. Which is easier to find via draft, trade, or free agency: A dominant blocking tight end who is also an athletic playmaker, or a starting calibre wide receiver?

    I just don't get it. In this year's draft there was one TE who could be as good as Graham. That's Davis. He went, what, sixth overall?

    There are several receivers in every draft that might be able to replace Branch as a #1 WR. We probably have one on our team.

    In Belichick's world, other than big athletic defensive linemen, athletic block and catch tight ends take priority, because they're hard to find.
  12. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Huh only Vernon Davis might be as good as Graham? Okay I think you been drinking a bit too much koolaid because you're vastly overrating Graham imo. Graham has his strengths and his weaknesses. His strength is his blocking. His weakness is his catching. Graham is simply not an impact tight end in the passing game. His hands are too inconsistent. I know the Pats drafted Graham with high hopes a few years back but he is clearly in the second tier of tight ends in the league. He is not up there with the Gates and the Gonzales.

    Vernon Davis was drafted 6th overall because the team that drafted him believed he could be a top tier tight end. And athletically Davis is a freak. Graham I think is above average athletically but nobody will confuse him with having freakish athleticism. IF you want to see freakish athleticism move one row down the stall and you have Ben Watson. That's the difference. I'm sorry but freakish tight ends that can stretch an opposing D are not easily replaceable. Solid blocking tight ends are. This is not an indictment on Graham who I like and think is a solid player. Rather it is a reality check. I know we Patriot fans tend to overvalue our own players but this stretches credibility to say Graham is irreplaceable and Vernon Davis has a mere CHANCE to be nearly as good as him.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
  13. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Rookie

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    "value", then, is about more than performance

    IMO the twig is among the top 5-perfoming nfl players at his position. he has been productive with hands, run after catch, quickness, good patterns, adjustments during games, 3rd down catches, that leaves pure speed and blocking. BUT THERE's NOBODY WITH HIS TALENT BEHIND HIM

    IMHO graham is not among the top 5, but he probably is among the top 10. graham's not a good blocker, he's a GREAT blocker. if ya got any TiVo, go back and look. he moves DTs around, and that's hard for OLs. graham is injury-prone, not particularly fast. patterns are good. i can't see how he'd be highly rated for hands. about quickness, i have no idea. he doesn't see the ball much on 3rd down. he's very good after the catch. AND THERE'S A PLAYER "BEHIND" HIM WITH aLL-PRO potential.

    seems clear that twig has more value. heck, graham may not even start at his position. i hate to let that blocking go, but watson's too good.
  14. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Put me in the camp advocating signing Graham first and for lots more than the ridiculous $1M-$1.5M folks advocated here. I've always loved The Twig since his 1st training camp (in a very manly man sorta way) but he may be more out of range for his worth than Graham. This assumes that Graham unlike the Vinitraitor doesn't want to just plain leave here for other reasons... a more featured receiving position, live closer to home, get away from Brady's towel snaping harrasment, whatever.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Brady and his accursed towel, they've cost us some good players.
  16. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Put these TEs you think of in our system. We don't need or want a TE like Tony Gonzalez. He hasn't blocked anybody in years. They have TE Dunn to do that job.

    And yes, I maintain that among the TEs selected in the 2006 draft, only Davis has the ability to be as good an all-around TE as Graham.

    Keep your fantasy football TEs, they serve a purpose. But I'd rather have a 40 catch, dominant blocking TE on my team than a 90 catch, no blocking one.
  17. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    This is probably the best thread I've read in about a week that actually had to do something with football playing..

    Are you serious about your comment or just trying to make a point.. I agree I want an all around TE but A perso who can catch 90 balls moves the offense a lot more.. Either way, I like Graham and hope he stays..

    Just a side note. I can remember a few games the past two years were in the first half or quarter they went to Graham and he did a great job catching the ball.. And then they never looked at him again..
    BRANCH is awesome but will never catch 100 balls in the offense.. He has had issues in the past to stay healthy.. Both are replaceable.. And I say this because AV was replaced..
  18. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    re

    I think a good blocking, 30-catch TE is easier to find than you might think.
  19. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    True but he said 40 catch and GREAT BLOCKER.. We could break it down and say a solid blocking TE who caught 20 balls is even easier to find..
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
  20. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Graham's value has diminished since we upgraded our O-Line.

    If you had asked me two years ago, I would have said absolutely re-sign Graham, because of his ability to help with pass protection and run blocking.

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