I've heard an awful lot about this trade since it happened. I get the feeling that most folks believe Branch will be the "missing link" that will propel the Seahawks to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance and that elusive first NFL championship. He's a young, talented, gutsy receiver with playoff experience and a penchant for coming up with the big play when it matters most.
The trouble is, they already have a bunch of those kinds of guys. Not at receiver, but they have a whole lot of clutch character guys that don't necessarily put up huge stats, but always come up big in the final seconds. And, one would assume that you can never have enough of that type of player. After all, my Grandfather always said that 17 lawn chairs were better than 16.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm way, way, way dumber than Tim Ruskell. However, I'm a little confounded by the Seahawks' off-season moves to this point (a game against Detroit doesn't take anyone out of the off-season). Nate Burleson is a good player. Julian Peterson was a great player. I'm just not sure that those two signature moves this off-season, coupled with the Branch trade, are going to get Seattle over the hump.
Peterson's a great linebacker, but the Seahawks already have two great linebackers. With Peterson working as the "roaming playmaker" on defense, what does Lofa Tatupu do? Conversely, with three quality receivers already on the roster, where does Branch fit in? And, if the Washington Redskins have taught us anything, it's that real-life Fantasy Football teams are a much better idea in theory.
Plus which, they traded a first round selection in next year's draft for him. The reason why I thought the Randy Moss trade was a good move for the Raiders was because every time I asked myself the question, "Would you take Randy Moss seventh overall?" the answer was always, "Of course." Would I draft Branch in the first round? Would you? Would Seattle? But that's effectively what they did, as well as throwing $39 million at him. Is a receiver that had his best games on the biggest stage but compiled over 1/3 of his career receptions last season worth what they gave up?
In the long term, probably not. In the short term, hey, 5 playmakers on offense are always better than 4.