Should We Trade Branch?

With the big rumor of the day being that Deion Branch may be traded back New England (ahem, for much less than the first rounder we gave up, heh), I think the initial fan thought was “great!” Well, yes and no. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I wonder how wise the decision would be and what it might mean for the 2010 Seahawks.

Hugh Millen is peeing himself right now.

Here, in relatively random order, are a few of my thoughts on the situation:


  • Pro: Neon Deion is unlikely to be a Seahawk in 2011 with his $5 million salary and mediocre on-field performance. If you can get something, rather than nothing, for Branch it seems like you’ve almost got to do it, right? Well, yes and no…
  • Con: The 2010 Seahawks are a better team with Branch on it. Trading him away for a late-middle pick (5th or 6th) does not likely provide the value that you will get out of him this year. The Seahawks are, after all, in a divisional race (regardless of how awful the division is). Would trading Branch for a future “maybe” be in the best interest of winning this year?
  • Pro: I’m not entirely convinced winning this year is the best idea. With Locker slipping down draft boards, Luck emerging, Ponder, Mallet, and possibly others jumping to the QB forefront… well, maybe this is a pretty okay year to competitively tank. I will never root for losing, but if the Pete-John axis are planning on using this as an evaluative year, than Branch is disposable.
  • Thought: Branch is the most senior WR and has been serving as something of a mentor for the younger guys. Without him, the “seniority” of Seahawk-dom is 1) Ben Obamanu, 2) Deon Butler, 3) Mike Williams, 4) Golden Tate, and 5) Brandon Stokley.
  • Thought: Matt Hasselbeck has little to no rapport with any of those guys, it would seem, save for maybe (inexplicably) Stokley. Trading Branch away feels to me like a pre-cursor to giving Charlie Whitehurst some game-time reps… it definitely doesn’t set your existing QB up for success.
  • Pro: Deion Branch is taking away valuable game-time snaps for Golden Tate and Deon Butler. We need them to see the field as much as possible if they are in fact the future of this team.
  • Con: He brought us the Neon Gloves, and neon gloves are friggin’ rad.
Basically, I’m content with Branch on or off the team, but I do think it will give us an idea of how the team views the 2010 season. If you’re rooting for wins, you probably want Branch (whoa, doesn’t that feel surreal?), whereas if you’re rooting for the future, seeing him walk away isn’t the end of the world.