Isn't this the message for Graham, Koppen and Samuel, and whoever comes after? Apparently, the last year of a contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on. The front office made a strategic error by not trading Branch months ago, perhaps even before the draft. By waiting, they may have gotten a 1st instead of a second, but they are no minus one starting receiver, which wouldn't have been the case earlier, unless we believe that Gabriel was the best deal that we could have made. I suspect that Kraft was pressured to take care of this situation. Instead of waiting for a ruling. We could probably have gotten about as much in March. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that Graham didn't act in the same way as Branch. And please, please the next time I say that we need Graham insurance or Koppen insurance (Mills and extending Hochstein), please don't all tell me how we keep our players, and should ignore the possibility of starters leaving. We needed Branch and Givens insurance. We got Jackson; we needed another last year. In the end, it is clear that the ultimatum should have been made months ago, so that we could have acted, with perhaps Stallworth playing for the patriots. The bottom line is that we will go on. We have a fine team. We have $10M or so of cap money to push forward into 2007 or 2008, rather than getting current value. We have a 2007 first, instead of current value. In other words, we are playing 2006 with $10M less spent on improving the team, and a first round draft pick less (or perhaps a second). Does anyone think that we would be sitting with a weakness at WR and $10M of cap money, if we knew in May that Branch was leaving? A first is great for 2007 and 2008, as is the cap money (more likely into 2009 or 2010). However, we just might have a posiiton or two that we might have improved in 2006.