Patriots 7/18 Chat Transcript - Part 2

The open chat Tuesday night covered many topics relating to the team's offseason. Warpaint Illustrated's Nick Athan stopped by to share some insider info on Ty Law, and the latest news coming out of Kansas City. The chat was lengthy as Insider's touched on multiple topics. This second segment covers Deion Branch's contract demands, the Patriots receivers and RB Laurence Maroney.

Note: Part 1 covered Ty Law, this installment covers the Deion Branch situation and Laurence Maroney.

<Morpheus> who will they go after, and what's the deal with SD and Donnie Edwards

<JSinCT> Word on the street is that they still want a veteran WR

<Guest159> Kevin Johnson?

<JSinCT> KJ is just one of the WRs they've contacted. We're hearing it's a few of them.

<Guest159> like who JS?

<JSinCT> That "Best Available" article from this past weekend... Check it
<JSinCT> We'll release names once we can confirm from another source.

<TNPatsFan> Johnson's probably the best of what's out there. He's still hurt I think though

<Guest159> he is almost ready considering retirement....

<wvsabbath> if Graham and Watson become forces together then the WR situation isn't bad then

<DisplacedPatsFan> Great point WV.

<Morpheus> We still need people to get down field...it may no be bad, but that doesn't mean it will be good either

<JSinCT> Figure Mills in that mix

<Morpheus> speaking of mix.... we hear Branch may hold out a lil at training camp.... what have you heard JS

<JSinCT> Yes... word we hear is that Branch values his services a little higher than the team does

<JSinCT> no surprise... but that he's likely to pull a Seymour move
<JSinCT> ... again no surprise
<JSinCT> But he will have to come to terms with his value, if he wants to stay in New England
<JSinCT> He may get a raise, but not like Seymour did, it's a differnet situation.

<wvsabbath> Poteat was becoming the man as a kick returner till he got injuried like 5 years ago

<DisplacedPatsFan> JS, If Branch holds out past a certain point, will he loose his free agency status?

<JSinCT> [EDIT: This question was answered later through email after the chat] DPF: He has to report in by a certain week in order to get credit for the season. It's somewhere in the middle of the season, or he doesn't get credit, and his status remains the same, pending fines and such.

<TNPatsFan> what's branch's status then? are they even negotiating now? if so, how far apart are they?

<DisplacedPatsFan> And that is fair.

<JSinCT> TN, we didn't get numbers, but we're told they're not close
<JSinCT> (the pats and Branch's agent)
<JSinCT> And we've also learned that he will most likely get more serious after the first week of training camp is over.

<TNPatsFan> do they usually continue talking once the season starts?

<JSinCT> TN - It depends. The Patriots like to finish things, but they have done deals during the season as well.
<JSinCT> With Branch, we expect he'll either have a deal by the season, or will play under the current contract
<JSinCT> He missed all of last year's preseason... the team didn't want him getting hurt
<JSinCT> so to expect the same thing is possible is not unreasonable

<TNPatsFan> interesting stuff. I honestly haven't been concerned about Branch, but if he goes through the whole season without a new contract, they are sure to lose him

<DisplacedPatsFan> And with incentives earned, Branch will get more than a mil for this season...as it stands now.

<Guest159> I just wonder if he wasn't able to play this year would [he] be willing to return the $1mil?
<Guest159> I understand players getting upset when they see their peers are paid better.....
<Guest159> but pay is not at all a measure of value

<JSinCT> TN, I've talked to Branch a bit and he's a good guy. I don't think he'll go through the season without a deal. But then again, we didn't' talk about if he thought his pay was fair

<TNPatsFan> i agree. i don't see branch as a problem. but it will be hard for him to resist the offers he'll get in free agency if he ends up there

<JSinCT> Yes. The Givens thing was an eye opener.

<Guest159> Look a Teacher/Fireman/Policeman/ Military guy have more value to society than BRANCH... and they will never even see that kind of $$$$$$
<Guest159> SO the value is not determined by the paycheck

<DisplacedPatsFan> Agreed Guest159.

<Morpheus> he wants to be paid like a number one but he's too fragile.... you don't see Steve Smith trying to sit out to keep from getting hurt.... Branch needs to man up
<Morpheus> and smarten up...accept his real value

<JSinCT> Givens' offer was the ballpark the Pats were hoping to start Branch's discussion with.
<JSinCT> now it will cost more.

<Morpheus> [Branch] is a glorified number 2 receiver
<Morpheus> just happens to be number one receiver for the Pats

<Guest159> They should have been exploring the market... Hopefully Jackson pans out

<henry> Well I know u probably hear this a lot, but what's up with Ty Law?? is he coming back or heading out somewhere else?

<JSinCT> Henry, We've covered Law a bit earlier in the chat, if you can scroll back...
<JSinCT> Nick Athan WarPaintIllustrated.com Our Chiefs affiliate was here earlier. Please check their site for some issues regarding making cap space to sign Law. They also have a great forum in their message boards for other updates.

<TNPatsFan> it would be interesting to look at every other team and figure how many of them branch would be a number one wr for
<TNPatsFan> versus a number two

<wvsabbath> Jackson might end up being a stud

<Guest159> I hope so WV...
<Guest159> IF we could find another quality #2 WR.... I might consider trading Branch if there was a market for him....
<Guest159> HOWEVER, I would rather keep him, if he doesn't desire to break the bank

<wvsabbath> You don't need a dominate wr anyways, troy brown caught 100 passes one year and no one ever claimed him as a number 1 wr in the nfl

<Guest159> I agree WV
<Guest159> we need 2-4 Quality #2 WR's.....
<henry> ok sticky with WR, do u think that Chad Jackson could be our number 2 REC.?
<JSinCT> Henry... yes
<JSinCT> He will be by midseason IMHO if not earlier
<Guest159> I think Jackson could be the man by the end of the year if he is #2 at midseason!@

<JSinCT> K... News on Maroney
<JSinCT> And the number one picks
<JSinCT> Someone wrote on the boards that PFW says Maroney may get Rookie of the year honors...
<JSinCT> Um... not if things go according to plan, that honor may get to Jackson IMHO
<Morpheus> it would be great if they both got it.... co rookies of the year
<JSinCT> Dillon will get his carries. The concern is his durability. He was broke all last year
<JSinCT> never fully healed so he, in theory, will get the bulk of the carries which means Maroney gets' Faulk and Pass' (if he's still on the roster) carries

<wvsabbath> also, don't forget…Maroney is a good receiver rb
<JSinCT> WV, it's his blocking at this point and his play adjustment recognition.
<JSinCT> That's what training camp is for.

<henry> What's up with Maroney when can we get him to sign?
<JSinCT> HENRY: Signing Maroney will not be easy
<JSinCT> Most First round picks are going to have an issue signing.

<Morpheus> Will Pass get cut?
<JSinCT> [EDIT: This question was answered later through email after the chat] Morph, it's going to be tough for Pass, Evans and Mills to all make the final roster. Last year it was which LB would get cut so the team could carry an extra RB or WR and that didn't happen. This year it's which RB will get cut so they can carry an extra spot elsewhere. Pass' future in New England is in play. It really depends on how teh other guys perform, and what they expect to be able to do with the players they keep on teh roster. Odds are not in Pass' favor.

<Guest159> I thought I read where they were close (due to slotting) with Maroney's old agents.

<JSinCT> What we've been told, from a number of agents, is that the deals being discussed are 6-year deals for picks 1-16
<JSinCT> and the agents want them to have a voidable year in there.
<JSinCT> the Pats picked Maroney at 21, which means a 5-year deal max

<Guest159> Sure a Voidable year for less BONUS money...
<Guest159> Trade Off's.....
<Guest159> YEP, he has the 5 yr limit Which is CRAP!

<JSinCT> Close and signed are two different things.
<Guest159> I agree JS
<Guest159> but if they are close... and due to slotting seem to have some form of agreement going...

<JSinCT> The parameters are in place for a deal (aka slotting), but the problem is that...
<JSinCT> the rookie pool didn't expand as much as agents want... so the rasie only about 2.5% vs the 5% [over last year] if they signed deals early. We'll have more on Maroney later as camp approaches.

- Continued -

In case you missed it, read Part 1 of this 3-part transcript.

Note: the Chat lasted over an hour with topics ranging from Ty Law to Deion Branch to injury concerns. Check back for more transcipts, or visit the Insider lounge for the complete listing of Tuesday's chat.

If you can't make the next chat (see schedule), be sure to send in your questions and we'll ask them for you. Email us here:

Related: More Draft talk here in the Patriots Message Boards | More Patriots Articles


Patriots Insider Top Stories

Related: More Draft talk here in the Patriots Message Boards | More Patriots Articles

","mobileBody":"

Note: Part 1 covered Ty Law, this installment covers the Deion Branch situation and Laurence Maroney.

<Morpheus> who will they go after, and what's the deal with SD and Donnie Edwards

<JSinCT> Word on the street is that they still want a veteran WR

<Guest159> Kevin Johnson?

<JSinCT> KJ is just one of the WRs they've contacted. We're hearing it's a few of them.

<Guest159> like who JS?

<JSinCT> That "Best Available" article from this past weekend... Check it
<JSinCT> We'll release names once we can confirm from another source.

<TNPatsFan> Johnson's probably the best of what's out there. He's still hurt I think though

<Guest159> he is almost ready considering retirement....

<wvsabbath> if Graham and Watson become forces together then the WR situation isn't bad then

<DisplacedPatsFan> Great point WV.

<Morpheus> We still need people to get down field...it may no be bad, but that doesn't mean it will be good either

<JSinCT> Figure Mills in that mix

<Morpheus> speaking of mix.... we hear Branch may hold out a lil at training camp.... what have you heard JS

<JSinCT> Yes... word we hear is that Branch values his services a little higher than the team does

<JSinCT> no surprise... but that he's likely to pull a Seymour move
<JSinCT> ... again no surprise
<JSinCT> But he will have to come to terms with his value, if he wants to stay in New England
<JSinCT> He may get a raise, but not like Seymour did, it's a differnet situation.

<wvsabbath> Poteat was becoming the man as a kick returner till he got injuried like 5 years ago

<DisplacedPatsFan> JS, If Branch holds out past a certain point, will he loose his free agency status?

<JSinCT> [EDIT: This question was answered later through email after the chat] DPF: He has to report in by a certain week in order to get credit for the season. It's somewhere in the middle of the season, or he doesn't get credit, and his status remains the same, pending fines and such.

<TNPatsFan> what's branch's status then? are they even negotiating now? if so, how far apart are they?

<DisplacedPatsFan> And that is fair.

<JSinCT> TN, we didn't get numbers, but we're told they're not close
<JSinCT> (the pats and Branch's agent)
<JSinCT> And we've also learned that he will most likely get more serious after the first week of training camp is over.

<TNPatsFan> do they usually continue talking once the season starts?

<JSinCT> TN - It depends. The Patriots like to finish things, but they have done deals during the season as well.
<JSinCT> With Branch, we expect he'll either have a deal by the season, or will play under the current contract
<JSinCT> He missed all of last year's preseason... the team didn't want him getting hurt
<JSinCT> so to expect the same thing is possible is not unreasonable

<TNPatsFan> interesting stuff. I honestly haven't been concerned about Branch, but if he goes through the whole season without a new contract, they are sure to lose him

<DisplacedPatsFan> And with incentives earned, Branch will get more than a mil for this season...as it stands now.

<Guest159> I just wonder if he wasn't able to play this year would [he] be willing to return the $1mil?
<Guest159> I understand players getting upset when they see their peers are paid better.....
<Guest159> but pay is not at all a measure of value

<JSinCT> TN, I've talked to Branch a bit and he's a good guy. I don't think he'll go through the season without a deal. But then again, we didn't' talk about if he thought his pay was fair

<TNPatsFan> i agree. i don't see branch as a problem. but it will be hard for him to resist the offers he'll get in free agency if he ends up there

<JSinCT> Yes. The Givens thing was an eye opener.

<Guest159> Look a Teacher/Fireman/Policeman/ Military guy have more value to society than BRANCH... and they will never even see that kind of $$$$$$
<Guest159> SO the value is not determined by the paycheck

<DisplacedPatsFan> Agreed Guest159.

<Morpheus> he wants to be paid like a number one but he's too fragile.... you don't see Steve Smith trying to sit out to keep from getting hurt.... Branch needs to man up
<Morpheus> and smarten up...accept his real value

<JSinCT> Givens' offer was the ballpark the Pats were hoping to start Branch's discussion with.
<JSinCT> now it will cost more.

<Morpheus> [Branch] is a glorified number 2 receiver
<Morpheus> just happens to be number one receiver for the Pats

<Guest159> They should have been exploring the market... Hopefully Jackson pans out

<henry> Well I know u probably hear this a lot, but what's up with Ty Law?? is he coming back or heading out somewhere else?

<JSinCT> Henry, We've covered Law a bit earlier in the chat, if you can scroll back...
<JSinCT> Nick Athan WarPaintIllustrated.com Our Chiefs affiliate was here earlier. Please check their site for some issues regarding making cap space to sign Law. They also have a great forum in their message boards for other updates.

<TNPatsFan> it would be interesting to look at every other team and figure how many of them branch would be a number one wr for
<TNPatsFan> versus a number two

<wvsabbath> Jackson might end up being a stud

<Guest159> I hope so WV...
<Guest159> IF we could find another quality #2 WR.... I might consider trading Branch if there was a market for him....
<Guest159> HOWEVER, I would rather keep him, if he doesn't desire to break the bank

<wvsabbath> You don't need a dominate wr anyways, troy brown caught 100 passes one year and no one ever claimed him as a number 1 wr in the nfl

<Guest159> I agree WV
<Guest159> we need 2-4 Quality #2 WR's.....
<henry> ok sticky with WR, do u think that Chad Jackson could be our number 2 REC.?
<JSinCT> Henry... yes
<JSinCT> He will be by midseason IMHO if not earlier
<Guest159> I think Jackson could be the man by the end of the year if he is #2 at midseason!@

<JSinCT> K... News on Maroney
<JSinCT> And the number one picks
<JSinCT> Someone wrote on the boards that PFW says Maroney may get Rookie of the year honors...
<JSinCT> Um... not if things go according to plan, that honor may get to Jackson IMHO
<Morpheus> it would be great if they both got it.... co rookies of the year
<JSinCT> Dillon will get his carries. The concern is his durability. He was broke all last year
<JSinCT> never fully healed so he, in theory, will get the bulk of the carries which means Maroney gets' Faulk and Pass' (if he's still on the roster) carries

<wvsabbath> also, don't forget…Maroney is a good receiver rb
<JSinCT> WV, it's his blocking at this point and his play adjustment recognition.
<JSinCT> That's what training camp is for.

<henry> What's up with Maroney when can we get him to sign?
<JSinCT> HENRY: Signing Maroney will not be easy
<JSinCT> Most First round picks are going to have an issue signing.

<Morpheus> Will Pass get cut?
<JSinCT> [EDIT: This question was answered later through email after the chat] Morph, it's going to be tough for Pass, Evans and Mills to all make the final roster. Last year it was which LB would get cut so the team could carry an extra RB or WR and that didn't happen. This year it's which RB will get cut so they can carry an extra spot elsewhere. Pass' future in New England is in play. It really depends on how teh other guys perform, and what they expect to be able to do with the players they keep on teh roster. Odds are not in Pass' favor.

<Guest159> I thought I read where they were close (due to slotting) with Maroney's old agents.

<JSinCT> What we've been told, from a number of agents, is that the deals being discussed are 6-year deals for picks 1-16
<JSinCT> and the agents want them to have a voidable year in there.
<JSinCT> the Pats picked Maroney at 21, which means a 5-year deal max

<Guest159> Sure a Voidable year for less BONUS money...
<Guest159> Trade Off's.....
<Guest159> YEP, he has the 5 yr limit Which is CRAP!

<JSinCT> Close and signed are two different things.
<Guest159> I agree JS
<Guest159> but if they are close... and due to slotting seem to have some form of agreement going...

<JSinCT> The parameters are in place for a deal (aka slotting), but the problem is that...
<JSinCT> the rookie pool didn't expand as much as agents want... so the rasie only about 2.5% vs the 5% [over last year] if they signed deals early. We'll have more on Maroney later as camp approaches.

- Continued -

In case you missed it, read Part 1 of this 3-part transcript.

Note: the Chat lasted over an hour with topics ranging from Ty Law to Deion Branch to injury concerns. Check back for more transcipts, or visit the Insider lounge for the complete listing of Tuesday's chat.

If you can't make the next chat (see schedule), be sure to send in your questions and we'll ask them for you. Email us here:

Related: More Draft talk here in the Patriots Message Boards | More Patriots Articles

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