Nothing seeping out yet about the Deion Branch status regarding a possible trade to New England. From New England side, a Boston Globe report holds that Tom Brady has been in touch with Branch, and that Branch was expected to meet with Seahawks GM John Schneider to clarify his position with the Seahawks. Let's speculate on Branch's approach to that meeting: He has seemed upbeat in the locker room, and he has been credited with being a good tutor and mentor to the young Seahawk receivers (Golden Tate particularly pointed to him in that regard). So I don't think he could be considered unhappy in Seattle in any means. But New England is 3-1 and has Brady, of course. A story in the Boston Herald quoted Branch as having said he'd be open to returning to New England. To further their rebuilding, the Hawks could stand to stock up some draft picks, and New England has some to burn. His salary of $5.47 million is hardly insignificant, though.
Another rumored trade could affect the situation, although it's considered a long shot. If the Pats move holdout guard Logan Mankins to San Diego for receiver Vincent Jackson, it would trump a trade for Branch.
Some of this makes me wonder just how much back-channel dealing goes on outside the front offices. Justin Forsett said he talked to Marshawn Lynch a number of times, and it was clear that Lynch needed a change of scene. Now Brady and Branch are on the phone. It's natural for friends and old teammates to stay in touch. Recent events make it clear, though, that Schneider doesn't need anybody dialing the phone for him on potential deals, and the Seahawks are not about to stand pat. The move to acquire Marshawn Lynch this week is proof. We may debate the value of roster continuity at a number of positions, but to get a quality, young running back for that price at a time of need is a no-brainer.
An interested tidbit in one of Mike Sando's NFC West blog for ESPN, listing relative effectiveness of NFL quarterbacks in throwing the long ball. Matt Hasselbeck has completed just two of 11 attempts on passes thrown deeper than 21 yards, for a rating of 18.4.
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