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  1. #1
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    Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2568851

    Pats turn down trades, Branch filing grievance
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    The New England Patriots on Friday rejected trade proposals for holdout wide receiver Deion Branch, leaving the two sides stalemated as league teams prepare for their season openers next weekc

    In fact, the stances of the parties may actually have grown more contentious on Friday, with sources confirming that Branch and agent Jason Chayut have filed a grievance against the Patriots through the NFL Players Association. In the grievance, filed after the Friday 4 p.m. deadline passed without a trade, Branch is seeking an expeditious hearing in front of a "special master" arbitrator.

    While the full grounds of the grievance were not immediately clear, it is believed that Branch will contend that New England officials promised his representatives they would trade him if the Patriots received a reasonable offer. Chayut is apparently prepared to argue, if a grievance hearing is convened, that trade offers made by the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks were appropriate and of a fair market value, given recent deals involving other NFL wide receivers.

    Branch had earlier reached agreements with the Seahawks and Jets on what ESPN.com has learned was a six-year, $39 million contract. The contract included a combined $13 million in guaranteed signing and option bonuses. Under the contract, Branch would have earned nearly $23 million in the first three years of the deal.

    Of course, the contract agreements with the Seahawks and Jets are essentially rendered moot now.

    ESPN.com's Michael Smith reported Monday that according to several league sources the Patriots were seeking a pair of first-round draft choices for Branch. Other league sources told ESPN.com that New England might have considered dealing Branch for first- and middle-round choices. It is believed that the teams involved did not offer New England more than a second-rounder in terms of draft pick compensation and that the Patriots did not come close to making a deal.

    Who takes the next step toward a possible reconciliation now, with the two sides seemingly at an impasse, remains to be seen.

    People close to Branch insist that he will not crack and will report to the Patriots only for the final six games of the season, enough to earn an accrued year toward the pension, and to qualify him for unrestricted free agency next spring.

    While last week's move by the Patriots was surprising, it was also reflective of the state of discussions between the two sides. There has been virtually no meaningful dialogue for weeks and Branch, the team's leading receiver in 2005, remains out of camp and is being fined at the rate of $14,000 per day during his absence.

    It is believed that, at some point in the offseason, the Patriots offered two extension proposals: a three-year deal worth $18.75 million with $8 million of that guaranteed, and a five-year extension at $31 million, with $11 million in bonuses.

    Branch, 27, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.05 million in 2006, the final season of the original five-year contract he signed as a second-round choice in the 2002 draft. And the base salary is only that high because Branch performed well enough to trigger an "escalator" in the contract that raised his compensation by $500,000.

    Team officials indicated as far back as March that securing an extension with Branch was a priority, but the sides have been unable to strike a deal and talks seem at a dead end.

    Branch is coming off a career year in 2005, when he had 78 receptions for 998 yards and five touchdowns. For his career, Branch has 213 catches for 2,744 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has appeared in 53 games and logged 42 starts. He earned most valuable player honors in Super Bowl XXXIX when he tied a title game record with 11 receptions, netting 133 yards.


  2. #2
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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    Good, because I REALLY don't want the seahawks to get him.


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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    Seahawks | Team still pushing for Branch
    Fri, 1 Sep 2006 19:37:56 -0700

    John Tomase, of the Boston Herald, reports even though the deadline to trade for him has passed, the Seattle Seahawks are still pursuing New England Patriots WR Deion Branch. A source in Seattle said the Seahawks believe they're very much in the mix and that the Patriots told them, "They're going to continue to pursue this thing." Sources say the Patriots have backed off requests for two first-round picks and would accept a first-round pick and a middle-round pick. Though the Seahawks didn't offer higher than a second-round pick, a source they said they would be willing to trade their first-round pick, which would likely be low in the draft anyway.
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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Seahawks | Team still pushing for Branch
    Fri, 1 Sep 2006 19:37:56 -0700

    John Tomase, of the Boston Herald, reports even though the deadline to trade for him has passed, the Seattle Seahawks are still pursuing New England Patriots WR Deion Branch. A source in Seattle said the Seahawks believe they're very much in the mix and that the Patriots told them, "They're going to continue to pursue this thing." Sources say the Patriots have backed off requests for two first-round picks and would accept a first-round pick and a middle-round pick. Though the Seahawks didn't offer higher than a second-round pick, a source they said they would be willing to trade their first-round pick, which would likely be low in the draft anyway.
    I REALLY hope the seahawks don't get this guy. It's bad enough all we hear is, is how great they're, and yeah they did good, but I am sick of hearing about them lol, and signing this guy will definitely make them "SB" winners automatically, because the experts say so. They will say so atleast lol


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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    So far I think Branch is very overrated. Sure he was the SB MVP but his reg season statistics are fairly avg. He's never had a 1000 yeard season, never had 80 catches, and never had more than 5 TDs in a season.

    Playing devil's advocate those stats could be because he is in the Pats system where they seem to spread the ball around, but unless Branch finds a new home or Brady passes to Branch a lot more we might never know.
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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    I am a seahawks fan, and I don't want the Seahawks to get him. Not now. NOt ever. I have a problem with a number one receiver who gets 5 TD catches in a year. SHouldn't he have more. Plus he could potentially turn into a team cancer, look what he has done to the Patriots. Basically held them hostage..saying renegotiate or trade me, or I won't play. That is the type of person that i don't want on my team, regardless of how talented he is. Plus, I don't think he is worth a first round draft pick...let alone two first rounders. I wouldn't even trade a third for him...maybe a fourth and a fringe player...

    I think that the Hawks are deep enough at WR with D-Jack (man I hope he is healthy for the opener), Burleson, Engram, Hackett and who ever the fifth and sixth WR's turn out to be...plus we have Seneca Wallace who can fill in at WRin a pinch.

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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    If the 'Hawks end up shipping a first round pick to New England for Branch, this is going to start making me believe in the Madden curse before the season even starts. First losing Hutchingson because of the transition tag and then completely overcompensating for a good but no where near great starting receiver.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    I wouldn't offer a 1st for him...maybe a 2nd. Man's never had a 1000 yard season, he hasn't scored more than 5 touchdowns...why would you offer a 1st round pick for a guy that'll most likely be your 2nd receiver.

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    Re: Pats turn down trades, Branch filing Grievance

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    Playing devil's advocate those stats could be because he is in the Pats system where they seem to spread the ball around, but unless Branch finds a new home or Brady passes to Branch a lot more we might never know.
    I think there's some truth to that, and he was only 2 yards shy of 1k last year. I do think the trio of Jackson, Branch, and Burleson would do pretty well for the Seahawks, but I can't see giving up a 1st rounder for him. I guess they figure it's their year and are going for broke.

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