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Old 09-02-2006   #1
texan279
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Default Pats turn down trades; Branch filing grievance

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2568851

The New England Patriots on Friday rejected trade proposals for holdout wide receiver Deion Branch, leaving the sides at a stalemate as teams prepare for their season openers next week.

In fact, the parties' stances might have grown more contentious Friday, with sources confirming that Branch and agent Jason Chayut have filed a grievance against the Patriots through the NFL Players Association. In the grievance, filed after the 4 p.m. Friday deadline passed without a trade, Branch is seeking an expeditious hearing in front of a "special master" arbitrator.

Richard Berthelsen, lawyer for the union, said the grievance alleges that the Patriots "reneged" on an agreement to trade their best receiver.

Chayut is apparently prepared to argue that trade offers made by the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks were appropriate and of a fair market value, given recent deals involving other NFL wide receivers.

ESPN.com's Michael Smith reported that the Jets offered a second-round draft choice for Branch.

The Patriots issued a two-sentence statement Friday that read, "No trade has been consummated. Deion Branch remains under contract to the New England Patriots." The team had no comment on the grievance.

In a conference call, Patriots coach Bill Belichick refused several times to expand on the team's statement.

"I'll let that speak for itself," he said. Belichick had similar responses when asked to comment on the grievance, if the team deadline was final and whether the team was still trying to trade Branch.

Branch had earlier reached agreements with the Seahawks and Jets on what ESPN.com has learned was a six-year, $39 million contract. The contract included a combined $13 million in guaranteed signing and option bonuses. Under the contract, Branch would have earned nearly $23 million in the first three years of the deal.
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Old 09-02-2006   #2
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my prediction: NE is not only going to lose this grievance, branch will end up a UFA and the pats will face a $1 million fine. the pats broke a binding oral contract and the players association is undoubtedly livid right now. employees have rights in the NFL.

this will also take a huge amount of luster off the pats organization. this is helpful to the other 31 franchises.
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Old 09-02-2006   #3
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Originally Posted by Heywood
my prediction: NE is not only going to lose this grievance, branch will end up a UFA and the pats will face a $1 million fine. the pats broke a binding oral contract and the players association is undoubtedly livid right now. employees have rights in the NFL.

this will also take a huge amount of luster off the pats organization. this is helpful to the other 31 franchises.
I don't know about that.

The Pats told him to seek a trade, but they don't have to accept the trade.

And if you are talking about breaking a contract, how about Branch not showing up for work on a signed contract.
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Old 09-02-2006   #4
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I don't know about that.

The Pats told him to seek a trade, but they don't have to accept the trade.

And if you are talking about breaking a contract, how about Branch not showing up for work on a signed contract.
giving players permission to seek a trade is a formal notion- it is a contract on both sides. the pats are then bound to accept offers that are more than fair- they can't simply frauduently waste the time of branch and his agent.

the pats could have simply not done this, namely let him hold out and fine him, and not gotten themselves into big trouble, like they are in now.

branch's contract was no more binding on him than on the patriots- he could have shown up for work and been cut and not collected a dime on the "contract"

it's beyond ugly now. even if the pats were to prevail in the grievance, branch need only show up week 10 and the pats must either activate him per their end of ther "contract" or cut him. if they activate him, they lose him at the end of the year as an UFA. keep in mind branch doesn't even have to play hard then- he can just jake it.
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Old 09-02-2006   #5
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The Pats wanted two first round picks for him. It sounds like they were not expecting anyone to bite on the trade. When a few teams did they got upset about it and asked for something no one would pay.
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Old 09-02-2006   #6
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The Pats wanted two first round picks for him. It sounds like they were not expecting anyone to bite on the trade. When a few teams did they got upset about it and asked for something no one would pay.
No team would offer what the Pats wanted. Branch wanted to be treated like a franchise player, and they have.... they made his trade value no less than two 1st round picks, which is normally what a franchise player would go for.

It's funny that the Bucs gave up two 1st rounders for a coach but no team is willing to dish that out for a former Super Bowl MVP WR who has a lot of length left in him.

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