What is your take on the recent signing of Deion Branch by the Colts?
Rick: The recent signing of Deion Branch is more than just a gamesmanship play by Ryan Grigson and company. People forget that back in December when LaVon Brazill got hurt, Indy brought in Branch for a private workout. So, this isn’t just an out-of-the-blue signing. It also didn’t help the Colts that they are without Darius Heyward-Bey this week due to a hamstring injury. Indy needed an extra body at wide receiver just for practice. As far as the game is concerned, I don’t think the Patriots should be too concerned of the former Super Bowl MVP hurting them on the field. The threats the Patriots need to worry about are T.Y Hilton and Coby Fleener in terms of wide receiver/tight end weapons. It’s great to see Branch back in the league, but this is more than just picking his brain from a Colts’ perspective.
Jason: I think it's a complete non-issue. Realistically, what is he going to tell the Colts that they haven't already seen on film? Uh, Brady throws it to the open receiver? This seems like a media tempest in a teapot.
Raj: I am heartbroken, to say the least. The NFL playoff share is only $23,000. So Branch will only earn that much. He might not even play. But I am upset because this signing was an evil move by Indy to help them understand the Pats' playbook and how BB changes the tempo of the offense, Branch knows a lot and for $23K, he's willing to give up his status of who we was to Pats fans: A respected leader, super bowl mvp, and a great wide receiver. This is really pathetic and I hope the Pats crush the Colts right in front of his face. I can't believe this…simply outrageous.
Derek: I think the signing will have little to no impact on the outcome of the game. What I do feel that this move effects is Deion Branch's candidacy for a spot in the Patriots Hall of Fame. It's hard to imagine leaving a former Super Bowl MVP out in the cold, but after the contract dispute that sent him to Seattle and probably cost the Patriots the 2006 title and now this signing with the Colts the week that they're trying to eliminate the Pats from the playoffs, I'm not so sure that Deion belongs next to guys like Drew Bledsoe and Tedy Brucshi. If he had signed with Indy even just a week before, I really wouldn't have had a problem with it. However, signing on as a mercenary right directly before a playoff game against New England just reeks of disloyalty. I get that NFL contract negotiations are a two-way street, but the Patriots Hall of Fame sits on our side of the street and we can choose to keep him out of there if we so desire.