One very simple reason. The Pats didn't buy insurance for their egg. And when the egg broke they ended up with yolk all over their face. Let's look back to Milloy please. That year the Pats did the smart thing. They signed Rodney Harrison. At first the press was puzzled that they had two starters signed to the same position. But the Pats FO said ostensibly they were going to play the "Big Nickel" so both guys would start. But don't you think in the back of their minds they were thinking of Harrison also as insurance? And when Milloy's contract situation didn't work out... guess who stepped up? That's right Harrison. And we won the superbowl that year if I recall correctly. Looking back on the Branch mess though the Pats never made that crucial insurance move. Javon Walker was available if the Pats had done a little talking. So was the Saint's Donte Stallworth. And now it looks like Walker and Stallworth are off to have 1,000 yard seasons. The Pats FO KNEW that Branch was in a contract situation. They also KNEW that they had no proven depth behind him. The Pats FO should have KNOWN better and should have prepared for the worse by shoring up that position. As far as I know Chad Jackson might turn up better than Deion Branch... NEXT YEAR. But with him limping around and a rookie in this offense to boot doesn't help us NOW. I'm sorry but I gotta hold the Pats FO accountable... not for not giving in to branch's contract demands but for FAILING to INSURE a position, WR, that would be vital to Tom Brady's success (and ergo the Pats offense) this season.