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Should the Pats have traded Branch away?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by borg, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Thought I'd stir up the waters a little.
    I'm pretty certain everyone is happy with the compensation the Pats received for Branch...a 1st rounder next year that will quite likely be in the early 20's. Two first rounders will certainly help lay the foundation for the FUTURE of this team. The problem lies in the fact that the organization has been unable to replace his talent with equal production this year and I would argue that Branch's absence has allowed opposing D's to free up assets to attack the line of scrimmage.
    What if BB/Pioli had maintained their hard line stance. Branch would likely have sat out the first half of the season and returned for the stretch run...NOW. Certainly the Pats could use this guy about now.
    My whole problem with the preseason Branch situation was that the Pats had no plan B. Givens was long gone before the draft so Caldwell gets brought in. Chad Jackson gets drafted early and maybe BB felt that they incorporate him into the scheme as quickly as Branch adapted to it. (I do believe this was BB's train of thought). Group Branch, Jackson, Caldwell, and Troy Brown together and you have to think BB was very satisfied with this group. BUT, can you really count on a guy who is fighting you about his contract. And can you count on a rookie who damages his hamstring in minicamp and can't get on the practice field during preseason. The signs were flashing very early that these 2 WRs had issues that could have longer term repercussions. Who knows what kind of trades were available during preseason that involved talented WRs instead of the castoff collection that the Pats opted for. But in my eyes, plan B has been a failure. When your WRs don't receive proper respect from the opposition, especially in the 2WR, 2 TE set...other teams are going to flood the center of the field which allows Ds to attack in multiple ways. The Pats scheme needs talent on the edges.
    So, would the aggravation of keeping Branch on the roster been worth it right now. Ten weeks of major distractions with the hope that Branch honors his finals weeks before hitting free agency. Branch would have had to report eventually to get his FA eligibility.
  2. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    I don't know. It's tough to speculate. Had they not traded him, I doubt this fiasco goes on for 10 weeks. But if it does, and he does come back in week 10, it has the potential to destroy the team. I say we made the right move, but it's getting to the point where the ineptness of this offense is derailing a promising season.
  3. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    I guess it depends what we'd get for him at the end of the year. To get anything we'd have had to Franchise and trade him. There's really no way to know . . . clearly if we could have had him starting Week 10 this year and still gotten a #1 for him we shouldn't have done. I doubt we would have gotten someone to give us a #1 in the offseason but teams have surprised me around.

    Enough of the fence sitting, though, would I still do it knowing then what I know now ? Yes. The way we're playing I don't think we're Branch away from winning the SB and a well drafted #1 pick in the 20s can be an exceptional value for 5 years.
  4. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Branch should have been extended before this year. He wasn't, Belipioli made a big mistake and it has affected the 2006 season, though they did manage a decent consolation prize in Seattle's No. 1 pick. There is absolutely no way Branch could have returned in week 10 and contributed like nothing happened. Period, end of story, let's move on.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    It's a worthwhile question. My bottom line is with the distraction of Branch's situation hanging over their heads, this team is not 9-3 going into Miami yesterday. And there's no guarantee that Branch comes back after game 10 and is able to shake off enough rust for the last 6 games and playoffs to be a major factor either.

    I think one might be better off making a case that the team should have been more flexible in their negotiations with Branch early on - because once it became a game of chicken there's no way the team can back down. The downside of showing weakness in negotiations is just too great.

    I've never felt this WR corps was ready for prime time - and that has a domino effect on limiting how the TEs and RBs can be used as well.

    But that's an academic discussion - once they were in gridlock with Branch it was a given that the team was going to have to make due with a Frankenstein conglomoration of WRs this year.

    In other words, we can note the faults of this team all we want - it doesn't change the fact that this is the team we've got - and the fact that they all need to play beyond their normal capabilities if this team is going to go far in the playoffs.
  6. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    It's easy to say that but we have no idea how reasonable, or not, he was. Players know the pot of gold lies at the end of FA, they aren't going to sign early for 50 cents on the dollar.
  7. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    It was to fargone to be resolved.. Unfortunitly this was the only way to settle it..
  8. Bobs My Uncle

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    #12 Jersey

    Pats management gets an A+ for securing the draft pick compensation they did for Branch given the situation they were facing.

    Pats management made a critical error in not properly reading the situation with both Branch and Givens and then for not having a competant fallback plan in place for replacing them. Not having such a fallback plan will very likely be paramount in costing this franchise any serious hope of winning this years SB. For this they get a F. And that's a damn shame because they should easily be in a very favourable position to win it all this year.
  9. BelichickFan

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    I agree on Branch, they clearly didn't read the situation clearly. Givens, I think was adequately replaced by Caldwell and Jackson. Understanding that Jackson has been slow to develop, partly due to being hurt all of training camp, I think those two were a reasonable response to Givens leaving. Branch, that's a different story.
  10. borg

    borg Rookie

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    I too agree that getting Branch out as quickly as possible as soon as the situation deteriorated was best for the team. Brady needed to clear his head and move on. Allowing Branch to remain in the wings would have provided the team an excuse and a sense of false hope.
    That being said, I do feel that BB/Pioli need to refine their hardline approach somewhat. The Branch situation along with certain other disgruntled NFL stars have shown us that contracts in todays NFL are not as concrete as management hoped and players can find other leverage points that put teams at a disadvantage. Until the NFL and the Players Association tighten up the terms of players contracts, it is up to individual teams to be flexible with their players. Philadelphia has taken the Red Sox/Nomar approach and extended valued players who still had multiple years left on their rookie contracts. Time will tell if this approach is cost-effective or foolish. Other teams install a Star system that will bend traditional negotiating tactics for the marquis names. Teams that have this approach are usually most concerned with ticket sales.
  11. Rob0729

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    I think you have to wait until things shake out. I have never been one to risk the future to secure the present. Giving into Branch's demands would probably hurt us in the future not only with his contract, but with negotiations with other players.

    It all depends what we get with Branch's pick. If we get a franchise type player, I may be willing to take the negative effects of losing Branch this year especially if we are a Super Bowl conteder for the next five years.

    Now if the pick player doesn't pan out and we cannot rebuild our receiving corp next year, this was a horrible move.

    I think this year we can win it all as a flawed team because virtually every team in the playoffs are going to be a flawed team. So I am not as upset about taking a hit this year. I think it was more important to not to open the door for players to force the Pats to pay them at their terms by sitting out.
  12. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

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    Trading Branch away was briliant. He couldn't rescue this dog of a team. ARe you kidding me?

    At least we'll get a #1 pick out of him. Can you say REBUILDING? Cut all the veterans next year. Sayonara. Dillon, Light, Chad Scott, Rodney (no!!), Bruschi, Brown,

    Keep Vrabel
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    right, cause when the Pats had Branch, our offense was lights out against the phins. IDIOTIC.
  14. Tunescribe

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    I may be wrong, but I think Branch could've been extended before all the posturing started taking place this year, nipping it in the bud before it had a chance to start. But clearly, not at least replacing him with someone equally as capable was a crucial misfire by Belipioli that has affected us this season.
  15. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    I agree with those who feel Branch's loss cut into the bone of the team. I think it has hurt Brady in several ways, not the least of which is emotionally. It's taken some of the joy of playing out of him.

    Reche Caldwell has been a pleasant surprise and will prove, I think to be an adequate replacement for Givens, although not quite as reliable. Thank God for Watson and I sure hope he isn't badly hurt.

    But yesterday, I think we saw a truly handicapped offense--no Branch, no Watson, no Jackson, no Maroney--and this against an excellent Miami defense. There was nothing wrong with our defense, except that it was on the field too long.

    I believe this situation might get better, possibly soon--if Watson, Jackson and Maroney rejoin the team. But without them, teams are going to tee off on Brady, and who can blame them?
  16. BelichickFan

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    They could have but :

    1) It's not a thing the organization does except for exceptional players like Brady and Seymour. Right or wrong it's an issue much bigger than Branch.

    2) They did offer him about $6M a year for either 3 or 6 years but as an extension contract, not a replacement starting this year. Although The Twig got what he wanted, I don't think the Patriots were unfair.

    BTW - on the 4th and 20 yesterday when The Twig got 19, if he'd buried his shoulder into the oncoming defender he'd have gotten the first down and possibly, then, the win. Too bad he ran horizontally and didn't get that last yard :D

    (it would have been an exceptional play to get the 1st down but he's paid to do the exceptional now).

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