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Outsiders: Revisiting '06 Branch deal

5/25/2011

Football Outsiders is running a "Top 10" series that examines various topics, and the work is appearing on ESPN.com. This week's topic is the top 10 trades that hurt both teams (Insider content).

The No. 10 trade on the list is the Patriots-Seahawks swap from 2006 -- Deion Branch for a 2007 first-round draft choice.

Football Outsiders writer Mike Tanier comes to the conclusion that the Seahawks overpaid for Branch, both in the form of draft-pick compensation and salary. The Patriots turned the draft pick into safety Brandon Meriweather, but Tanier points out how much the Patriots missed Branch in the 2006 playoffs.

"Think back to the 2006 AFC Championship Game loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Reche Caldwell, the team's No. 1 receiver by default, dropped two passes in that game, one of them a screen that practically buried itself in his jersey," Tanier writes. "In other words, trading Branch might have cost the Patriots another trip to the Super Bowl."

No other Patriots trades appear on the Top 10 list.