Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Saturday, March 31, 2012
Looking closer at Branch deal

By Mike Reiss

Receiver Deion Branch's one-year contract breaks down this way:

Base salary: $925,000
Signing bonus: $250,000
Workout bonus: $150,000
Incentives: $250,000-$3 million

Branch's salary cap charge, if he makes the team, will be $1.575 million.

ANALYSIS: This deal reflects how the Patriots still value Branch. To pay him $400,000 in bonuses (signing & workout) is an indication, from this view, that the team envisions him having a spot on the 2012 roster. The wide receiver position is crowded, but the financials of this deal (compared to Donte' Stallworth, for example) indicate that Branch is on sturdier ground than some of the competition (likely as a No. 3 or 4 option).