|As trade deadline looms, looking back at Patriots’ in-season deals under Bill Belichick||10.29.13 at 8:05 am ET|
With the NFL trade deadline set for Tuesday afternoon, here’s a look at the in-season deals swung by the Patriots since Bill Belichick took over as coach in 2000.
2006: The day after a season-opening win over the Bills in Buffalo, the Patriots put an end to a protracted contract flap with wide receiver Deion Branch when they sent Branch to the Seahawks in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2007 draft.
2009: The Patriots made a couple of interesting moves that summer, including the trade of Richard Seymour to the Raiders for a first-round draft pick in the 2011 draft and a move that saw tight end David Thomas shipped to the Saints for a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft. But the only in-season deal the Patriots made was a trade with the Ravens that saw them acquire linebacker Prescott Burgess in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
2010: The biggest year for in-season deals, at least from a volume perspective. On Sept. 14, the Patriots sent running back Laurence Maroney and a sixth-round pick to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick in 2011. Less than a month later, New England swung a pair of seismic trades: First, the Patriots dealt wide receiver Randy Moss and a seventh-round pick to the Vikings for a third-rounder in 2011 on Oct. 6. Then, six days later, New England re-acquired Branch in exchange for 2011 fourth-round pick (99th overall).
2012: Another impact in-season deal came that year on Nov. 1, when the Patriots acquired cornerback Aqib Talib and a 2013 seventh-round pick from Tampa Bay in exchange for a 2013 fourth-round draft choice (126th overall).
|Adam Schefter on D&C: Trent Richardson trade not about money||09.23.13 at 10:33 am ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to discuss a number of NFL news stories from the past week.
On Wednesday, the Browns shocked the NFL world by trading running back Trent Richardson, whom they took with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Colts for a 2014 first-round pick. Some speculated that Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam traded Richardson as a way to alleviate some of the potential financial cost for a pending lawsuit against his truck stop company, Pilot Flying J. Schefter vehemently denied that speculation.
“I don’t think money had anything to do with it,” said Schefter. “They gave Trent Richardson a $13 million signing bonus right after he was drafted. … So, that makes no sense to me at all.
“I was in Cleveland this summer and I’m taking to [the Browns] and Trent Richardson’s name came up and they say, ‘Yeah, he’s pretty good,’ and I’m like, ‘pretty good? That’s it? The No. 3 pick in the draft?’ And I could tell then that this team does not feel enamored with this guy right now.”
Then, on Friday, San Francisco’s star third-year defensive end Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. The 49ers took heat when they decided to play Smith in their 27-7 loss to the Colts before giving him a leave of absence. Schefter had no problem with the 49ers’ decision.
“Aldon Smith has an issue, and he knows he needs treatment, and he’s taken an excused leave of absence, starting today to go seek help. They were concerned that if you take some young 23-year-old kid, who’s got an issue, and you take him away from the football field on Sunday, that it would not be the best decision for him and it would not be safe,” Schefter said.
Smith’s treatment will force him to miss at least the team’s Thursday night game against the Rams, and perhaps even more time.
|Tom Brady reportedly reaching out to Deion Branch, Brandon Lloyd to gauge interest in Pats||09.22.13 at 11:34 am ET|
FOXBORO — Apparently Tom Brady really wants help at the wide receiver position.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Michael Silver are reporting that the star quarterback has reached out via text and old-fashioned phone calls to see if either Deion Branch or Brandon Lloyd might be interested in coming back to New England and contribute to the passing game. Rapoport reports that Branch, 34, is in Kentucky and willing to come back while Lloyd’s interest is unknown.
After a first stint in New England that included a Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, Branch came back to the Patriots on Oct. 11, 2010 in a trade for a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He took over for Randy Moss, who was dealt to the Vikings.
In his first game back with the Patriots, Branch had 9 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown in an overtime win over the Ravens. On Thanksgiving, against the Detroit Lions, Branch had a career long 79-yard touchdown catch from Brady in the third quarter, and added a 22-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter in a Patriots win. Two weeks later, against the Chicago Bears, Branch caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Brady at the end of the first half of a Patriots victory.
In 11 games (nine starts) with the Patriots in 2010, Branch had 48 receptions for 706 yards and five touchdowns. In 2011, Branch had five touchdown receptions and 702 receiving yards. He became a free agent after the season and re-signed on March 22, 2012. Branch was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31, 2012 during final cuts. On Sept. 18, 2012, the Patriots re-signed Branch. On Nov. 17, 2012, The Patriots waived Branch to make room for practice squad receiver Greg Salas. On Dec. 11, 2012 the Patriots re-signed Branch due to injuries to Julian Edelman and Donte Stallworth.
On March 17, 2012, Lloyd, 32, signed a three-year deal with the Patriots for $20 million with incentives to escalate it to $26.5 million. This deal reunited Lloyd with Josh McDaniels, his coach in Denver and offensive coordinator with the Rams. Lloyd finished his only season in New England with 74 catches for 911 yards and four touchdowns. He was released by the Patriots on March 16.
What @MikeSilver & I are reporting: Tom Brady himself has been calling & texting Deion Branch and Brandon Lloyd, gauging their availability
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 22, 2013
|Deion Branch on Aaron Hernandez: ‘That’s my guy, man’||06.30.13 at 9:51 pm ET|
Speaking to the Albany (Ga.) Herald newspaper, former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch stood by his former teammate, Aaron Hernandez.
“Aaron is a great guy and a great friend of mine and a great teammate,” Branch told the newspaper. “I love him to death, and it was shocking to hear his name involved in this situation. I truly hope and pray he doesn’t have any dealings with it.”
Branch is only the second former Patriot to speak out regarding Hernandez, who remains in police custody after being charged with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Matt Light was the only other former teammate of Hernandez to comment on the situation. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“That’s my guy, man,” Branch said. “That’s my guy. It really shocked me. He was a great kid. Overall, I hope the best that he isn’t involved with it and I hope he gets his name cleared, but most importantly I send my prayers and condolences out to the Lloyd family.”
The wide receiver added, “Nobody deserves to walk, whoever the person is that did it. Most of all what we as Americans need to understand is that is somebody’s child that was a victim. That’s somebody’s dad, and my prayers and thoughts go out to his family and hope that they bring whoever did this to their child to justice, regardless of who it is.”
Branch made the comments during his eighth annual Skills and Drills camp at Albany State University Saturday.
|Another reset of Patriots depth chart at wide receiver||04.10.13 at 4:49 pm ET|
After a busy morning that included the extension of an offer sheet to Emmanuel Sanders and the apparent agreement on a one-year deal between the Patriots and Julian Edelman, it’s time once again to reset the depth chart at wide receiver for New England.
As was the case when we did this last month, it’s important to remember that there is still time in the team-building process (between the end of free agency and the draft), so things can change between now and the start of the 2013 season. But as it stands right now, here’s a thumbnail look at each one of the receivers who are currently on the roster, as well as some possible additions for New England at the position between now and the start of the season.
Julian Edelman: Right now, Edelman is the only receiver on the roster who caught a pass from Tom Brady in 2012. The former college quarterback, who was a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2009, has spent the last four seasons with New England, and has 69 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns as a pro. It will be interesting to see what sort of role he has in the 2013 passing game — he had a terrific offseason last year, and as a result, got off to an impressive start (10 catches in first two-plus games) before a late September injury. Right now, he likely figures as a backup to Amendola, but if he stays healthy, the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder should have an important role in the offense and on special teams.
Donald Jones: Right now, Jones figures to be in the mix for the No. 3 receiver spot, but as always, that situation remains fluid based on other possible free-agent additions as well as what the Patriots might do in the draft. The 6-foot, 208-pound Jones is a Youngstown State product who spent three seasons in the league, all with the Bills, and has 82 career receptions. His best year came in 2012 when he caught 41 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns. Jones has some experience in the slot, as well as outside.
Danny Amendola: The big offseason addition at receiver, Amendola will likely be the closest thing the Patriots have to a traditional wide receiver in 2013. Amendola has worked in the slot and outside, and will likely be asked to do both in the New England offense. The 27-year-old, who had a career-high 85 catches for St. Louis in 2010, has followed an eerily similar career arc as Welker, who blossomed when he first arrived in New England in 2007. The Patriots hope that the 5-foot-11, 188-pounder can continue on the same path that saw Welker — who was a little-used part of the Miami offense before he arrived in Foxboro — catch 100 passes in five of his six seasons with the Patriots.
Mike Jenkins: The addition of Jenkins looks to be a case of the Patriots kicking the tires on a veteran to see if he has anything left in the tank. The 30-year-old, who has had knee issues the last few years, caught 40 passes for 449 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Vikings. He’s a 6-foot-4, 214-pounder out of Ohio State who has been in the league for nine seasons — seven with the Falcons and the last two with Minnesota. His best seasons came in 2007 and 2008, when he caught a combined 103 passes for 1,309 yards and seven touchdowns. If he does stick, it will be for depth purposes.
Not currently on the roster, but possible additions.
Emmanuel Sanders: While Sanders isn’t technically a Patriot just yet, we will include him here for purposes of this exercise. Like Amendola (and, to a lesser extent, Jones and Edelman), Sanders does have some position experience in that he’s played both in the slot and outside. The 26-year-old, a third-round pick out of SMU in 2010 by the Steelers, caught 44 passes for 626 yards and one touchdown in 2012, starting seven games. In his three-year career, Sanders has 94 receptions for 1,290 yards and five touchdowns. For more on Sanders and his potential impact here in New England, click here.
Brandon Lloyd: With each passing day — and with each subsequent addition the team makes to its receiving corps — the chances of Lloyd’s return seem to grow faint. He was released last month, just prior to the date the team was contractually obligated to deliver a $3 million roster bonus. In his one season with the Patriots, Lloyd had 74 catches for 911 yards and four touchdowns. While he had some terrific moments — including eight catches against Arizona, nine against Baltimore and 10 against the Niners — he was underwhelming at times.
Deion Branch: Branch, who will be 34 before the start of the 2013 season, has to be considered a long shot to return, but it still wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 5-foot-9, 195-pounder back on an emergency basis if needed. He ended the 2012 season with 16 catches for 145 yards in 10 games for New England.
(In addition, the Patriots depth chart also includes Kamar Aiken, Jeremy Ebert and Andre Holmes. Ebert was a seventh-round pick of the Patriots last season who spent some time on the practice squad, while Aiken ended the season on the practice squad and Holmes was added to the roster in January after spending part of the 2012 season with the Cowboys. And while Matthew Slater is technically listed as a wide receiver, he’s more of a special teamer.)
|Deion Branch on M&M: ‘Once the ball is in play, anything goes’||01.14.13 at 12:03 pm ET|
Patriots receiver Deion Branch joined Mut & Merloni on Monday, a day after an impressive 41-28 victory over the Texans set up an AFC championship matchup against the Ravens next Sunday.
Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo sent out a few tweets Sunday night critical of the Patriots’ hurry-up offense (he apologized Monday). Branch said it’s nothing new for the Pats.
“It’s always a problem, the Patriots are doing something, it’s always an issue, if you notice,” Branch said. “The Patriots are always coming up with something very controversial in everything that we do. Success brings that.”
Added Branch: “Once the ball is in play, anything goes. … Once the referee spots the ball down and he moves, anything goes from there.”
Branch said he doesn’t expect that Bill Belichick will use Ayanbadejo’s comments for inspiration, as the Patriots won’t need it.
“I doubt if he’ll use it, because this isn’t the first time we’ve heard something like this,” Branch said. “I doubt if he’ll use it. But then again, who knows? He may bring it up. I don’t think we need any motivational speeches for this type of game, for this team. This is a team that we’re very familiar with, who deserves to be here. We deserve to be in this game as well. There’s no more speeches that need to be made for this game.”
|Deion Branch promises: ‘You’re going to see a different Texans team’||01.08.13 at 9:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Everyone knows what happened on Dec. 10 at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots dismantled the Texans, 42-14, as the Patriots raced out to a 28-0 lead and never looked back.
Deion Branch had a unique view. He was with his wife in the basement of his North Attleboro home watching the game.
“It felt good just to see the guys doing the things that they did do in the game,” Branch said Tuesday. “You always know it and because I’m around it, but when you’re away from it and you’re watching as a fan, I was very pleased and very happy to see that. It’s really nothing new because we can do a lot of great things if we go out and execute our plays the way we’re supposed to; that type of performance.”
Ironically, in that game against the Texans, Donte’ Stallworth injured his foot on a touchdown catch, landing him on the injured reserve list and setting the stage for Branch’s return to the Patriots prior to the 49ers game.
Did he watch the game thinking he might be back in that kind of situation?
“Trust me, however the marbles fall, I just let them fall,” Branch said. “There are a lot of things you can’t control in life. Trust me, if I was one of the personnel guys, I’d be around every week [until I’m] 40, 45 years old, but that’s not my decision. If I was one of the personnel guys… but I don’t make those decisions.”
This time against the Texans, Branch is convinced the Patriots will see a much different – and better – opponent. He was asked what he thought of the Texans being considered a “cupcake” opponent.
“No, trust me, you’re going to see a different Texans team,” Branch said. “That we all know, I promise you that. They’re a great team. They’ve been a great team all season long. Unfortunately they ran into a couple stumbles but that’s football. Trust me, it won’t be the same team that we played five weeks ago.”
Here is the rest of Tuesday’s press conference with Deion Branch at Gillette Stadium: Read the rest of this entry »
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