Seahawks trade for Patriots' Branch
The Seahawks confirmed the acquisition of Branch for a 2007 draft pick, but did not disclose the round of the choice.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Seahawks have completed a trade for New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch.
The Seahawks confirmed the acquisition of Branch for a 2007 first-round draft pick. Branch is traveling today and will be at the Seahawks' training facility on Tuesday. The team will have a two-week roster exemption for Branch while he gets acclimated. He could be activated at any time, but the team has up to two weeks before it must make room for Branch on the 53-man roster.
Branch led the Patriots with 78 receptions in 2005, and the season before that he was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles when he caught 11 passes. He is 27 and has played four seasons in the NFL, but he did not report to training camp this year because he wanted a new contract. He is in the final year of the deal he signed as a second-round draft choice in 2002 out of Louisville, chosen No. 65 overall by the Patriots. The deal would have paid him $1.045 million this season.
Branch had a career-high 998 yards receiving last season and caught five touchdowns. Two weeks ago he was given permission by the Patriots to contact other teams about a potential trade. He agreed to terms on a six-year contract with the Seahawks, but Seattle and New England did not reach agreement on trade compensation. It was reported Branch also had an agreement with the Jets.
After the Patriots didn't agree to a trade, Branch filed two grievances against the team through the players association. Neither grievance had been heard at the time of the trade. Branch has been subject to a fine of $14,000 per day since July 28 when he did not report for the start of the Patriots training camp.
In Branch's absence, the Patriots receivers had 51 yards combined in Sunday's comeback victory over Buffalo.
Seattle played Sunday's game with five wide receivers on the roster, but one of them – Willie Ponder – is a return specialist. The Seahawks will have to make a roster move to clear a spot for Branch.
Bobby Engram and Darrell Jackson caught five passes apiece in Sunday's victory in Detroit, but fullback Mack Strong led the team with six receptions.
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