Cleveland Browns WR Debate Hypothetical: A Stance for a Certain Veteran

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IMay 28, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - OCTOBER 04:  Deion Branch #83 of the the Seattle Seahawks is pictured during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In continuing the debate over whether or not the Cleveland Browns need to add a veteran wide receiver to help teach and mentor the Browns' very young group of receivers—here is an option that could occur sooner than later, acquiring Deion Branch.

If you happened to miss my stance on not needing a veteran wide receiver, then click here to read it.

First, this is a current hypothetical since Branch is still under contract and on the Seattle Seahawks roster, but since he was brought on for the 2006 season, he has been a disappointment comparing to the amount of money the Seahawks signed him for.

Branch will make over $5 million in 2010, which is one of the main reasons he may get cut from the roster (according to various Seattle sources). This would be due to the lack of a salary cap and also to Seattle having a new front office and head coach.

One of the biggest reasons the Browns should pursue Branch IF he gets cut is because of his familiarity with both the Patriots and Seahawks offensive systems.

The Browns will be running a hybrid version (the North Coast offense) of both the Pats and 'Hawks offenses since they have combined personnel in the coaching and front offense staff who are all from both programs.

Team President Mike Holmgren and Head Coach Eric Mangini both are more than familiar with Branch.

With the combination of two separate offensive structures, bringing a player like Branch who knows both would be key in helping young receivers get acquainted with the offense faster.

Also, even though Branch has been considered a big letdown since signing with the Seahawks in 2006, he has still averaged 48 catches for over 600 yards and three touchdowns per year throughout his eight-year career which is admirable.

He may not be an ideal candidate right now since he is still under contract, but if he gets cut and can be signed for the right price, then he should immediately be wooed by the Browns.

The biggest question, if Branch is signed, will be, will the Browns keep six receivers on their roster for 2010?

Five spots are already set in stone with current receivers: Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Carlton Mitchell are the front-runners to make the final roster cuts come the end of the preseason.

Adding Branch could pose a problem for the final roster, but then again, saying Cribbs is a full-blown receiver is more of just giving him a position on paper and less of him being a true receiver.

The next few weeks will be interesting to see what happens—whether the Browns really do want a veteran receiver and which vets may get cut as training camps get closer.

(Article also posted on Dawg Scooper: THE Cleveland Browns Blog.)


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