Seattle Seahawks Trades: Deion Branch and a Dozen Already Made
If you’re getting tired of Pete Carroll and John Schneider playing roster roulette, you can take solace in the fact that things might settle down a bit a week from Tuesday.
Oct. 19 is the trade deadline—the time by which the Seahawks have to trade wide receiver Deion Branch if they are going to trade him.
It sounds like there is interest on all sides for a deal to be made, with the Hawks and Patriots reportedly having already spoken and New England quarterback Tom Brady reportedly having talked to Branch about it.
Branch made clear his desire to return to New England when he told the Boston Herald earlier this year, “I never wanted to leave, nor did coach [Bill] Belichick and his staff and the organization want me to leave either. We just couldn’t get the contractual part down. We just couldn’t come to an agreement. And that stuff happens...I still love Coach Belichick and if the opportunity presents itself to come back, I would love to be there.”
Of course, any trade hinges on two things: compensation to the Seahawks and to Branch. The receiver is making $5.47 million in the fifth year of the six-year, $39 million deal he signed with Seattle after the Seahawks sent the Patriots a first-round pick in September 2006.
The Patriots surely would not want to pay that much to a guy who has barely earned a penny of the $29 million he has been paid so far. He has about $3.86 million left on this year’s salary, and the Patriots probably would want him to slash that, along with his $5.95 million salary in 2011.
On top of that of course, the Seahawks and Patriots would need to agree on draft compensation. Considering his lack of production in Seattle, Branch isn’t worth anything more than a sixth-round pick.
If the Hawks do end up dealing Branch, it will become the 13th trade executed by Carroll and Schneider since they took over.
The first deal they made was to send Seneca Wallace to Cleveland, and the most recent was the acquisition of Marshawn Lynch from Buffalo.
As the Seahawks take a break this week, let’s take a look at how those trades have worked out so far.
Date of trade: March 8
The trade: The Hawks will receive a sixth or seventh in 2011.
How it has turned out: We stand firm in our opinion that Schneider could have gotten more for Wallace, who already has started three games for the Browns in place of Jake Delhomme. It looks like this will end up a sixth-round pick, but Schneider should have been able to pull a fifth-rounder in this year’s draft for a guy Mike Holmgren really liked and who has played pretty well for Cleveland and beat Cincinnati last week.
Date of trade: March 16
The trade: The Hawks received DE Chris Clemons and a fourth-rounder (DE E.J. Wilson).
How it has turned out: The Seahawks got two ends for the price of one in this deal, and so far it has worked out in Seattle’s favor. While Clemons has four sacks, Tapp spent the first two weeks inactive before getting a sack in Week 3. Wilson has been inactive for Seattle in every game, but the Hawks kept him because they think he has a future.
Date of trade: March 18
The trade: The Hawks swapped second-round picks in 2010 and gave up third-rounder in 2011.
How it has turned out: At this point, Whitehurst might be wishing he had signed with Arizona, where he no doubt would be starting right now as the Cardinals have benched their Plan B, Derek Anderson, and are going with rookie Max Hall this week.
As much as some uneducated Seahawk fans want Whitehurst to play, he is simply not a better option than Matt Hasselbeck, especially on a team that has a chance to win its weak division.
Carroll has made it clear Hasselbeck is the quarterback, and that won’t change unless the Seahawks go in the tank or Hasselbeck is hurt.
The Hawks gave up too much for Whitehurst, but he is still very much in the plans down the road.
Date of trade: April 5
The trade: The Hawks sent Sims and seventh-round pick to Detroit for DE Robert Henderson and a fifth-round pick (Kam Chancellor).
How it has turned out: The Lions already like Sims so much they signed him to a contract extension last week. Some Seahawk fans are lamenting his departure, but this deal will be graded in a couple of years, when we see whether Chancellor has developed into a starter for Seattle and whether Sims is still starting for Detroit.
Date of trade: April 24
The trade: The Hawks got White and Kevin Vickerson from Tennessee by moving down a combined 16 spots in the fourth and sixth rounds.
How it has turned out: The releases of both White and Vickerson were surprises for different reasons, and both oddly ended up with the Broncos. White didn’t last long, placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the preseason.
Vickerson has played in every game, and he played especially well in the Broncos’ win against his old Titans last week. Nobody is sure why the Seahawks ended up letting Vickerson go after he played well in August.
The one positive out of this deal is the fact that the Hawks drafted Walter Thurmond with the fourth-rounder, but basically this trade was a total wash.
Date of trade: April 24
The trade: The Hawks sent a fifth-round pick to the Jets for Washington and a seventh-rounder (Dexter Davis).
How it has turned out: The Seahawks already won with this deal, literally, as Washington single-handedly beat the Chargers with two kick returns for touchdowns. On top of that, Davis looks like a nice find in the seventh.
Date of trade: Aug. 16
The trade: The Hawks sent San Francisco a 2011 sixth-rounder.
How it has turned out: Balmer got hurt as soon as he got to Seattle, but the Hawks kept him anyway and he has played in a reserve role so far. We’ll see more of him as the season goes on and will find out whether he’s a keeper or not. Even if he isn’t, the Hawks gave up almost nothing for the former first-rounder, and they essentially got that pick back by trading Lawrence Jackson two days after this deal.
Date of trade: Aug. 18
The trade: The Hawks received a 2011 sixth-rounder from Detroit.
How it has turned out: Jackson has been used sparingly as a reserve. He was inactive for the opener and did not play against Green Bay last week. He did get a sack against Minnesota, but he has given the Lions about what Balmer has given the Seahawks.
Date of trade: Aug. 31
The trade: The Hawks sent Detroit a conditional late-round pick in 2012.
How it has turned out: Polumbus has been a godsend, all things considered. He started the first three games at left tackle in place of the injured Russell Okung, and he played at both right and left tackle against the Rams. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him displace Sean Locklear at right tackle.
Date of trade: Aug. 31
The trade: The Hawks will get a fourth- or fifth-round pick in 2011.
How it has turned out: This was a horrible trade by the Seahawks.
Wilson surprisingly has not been used much in the first four weeks. He started in Week 3 against Cleveland but then was inactive against Pittsburgh last week.
He reportedly will return kicks this week for the first time, and you have to wonder what has taken the Ravens so long to get him involved.
His impatience was evident in words to the Baltimore Sun on Friday: “I can tell you right now I’m ready, I know how to play football. I'm a football player. When I get the opportunity to show that, it’ll be evident.”
If the Hawks are going to have a shot at that fourth-rounder, the Ravens need to use Wilson.
Date of trade: Sept. 5
The trade: The Hawks sent a seventh-rounder in 2011 to Philadelphia.
How it has turned out: This could be as big of a steal as the Leon Washington deal.
After Max Unger was lost for the season in the opener, the 6'7", 340-pound Andrews stepped in at right guard and has been a major force on that side. With the left side in disarray, the Seahawks have had their best running success behind Andrews.
The Seahawks will want to rework his contract at some point (he’s due $4.75 million next year, and it grows each year after that), but he could be a keeper.
Date of trade: Oct. 5
The trade: The Hawks sent Buffalo a fourth-rounder in 2011 and a conditional pick (fifth or sixth) in 2012.
How it has turned out: We don’t know yet. But Lynch is a former first-round pick who rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his first two years before falling out of favor in Buffalo.
If he keeps his nose clean, his holster empty, and his car off people, he could be worth the mid-round picks the Seahawks gave up.
What We Have Learned
For those keeping score on their draft cards, here are the Seahawks’ picks for 2011: 1st, 2nd, 4th or 5th (Baltimore), 5th, 6th (Detroit), 6th, or 7th (Cleveland).
To check out what we have learned four games into Pete Carroll's tenure, go Outside The Press Box.