Branch Gone, Lynch In, but Which Move is better for Seattle

If you checked out after Seattle’s 20-3 Week Four loss in St. Louis and thought you’d come back after the bye, you’ve missed out. While there hasn’t been any action at Qwest Field, the team’s front office has been going at full tilt.

Last Tuesday the Seahawks acquired running back Marshawn Lynch from the Buffalo Bills for a fourth-round pick in 2011’s National Football League Draft and a conditional one in 2012.

Monday, Seattle shipped wide receiver Deion Branch back to the team that he started his career with, the New England Patriots, for the higher of New England’s two fourth-round picks in April’s Draft. In addition to their own pick that round, the Patriots also own the rights to Denver’s.

So, essentially, Seattle traded Deion Branch and the team’s fourth-round pick in 2011 for Marshawn Lynch and what could potentially be a better fourth-round pick in 2011. But which trade will impact the team the most?

Asked this question Tuesday as a part of the Seahawks Sound Off: The Tuesday Two Deep, over 80 percent of football fans visiting SeahawksGab.com and NFLGridironGab.com voted for the Lynch deal.

A fourth-year veteran at 24 years old, Lynch has toted the football 687 times, meaning he still has several years left of playing running back in the league at an impactful level. He’s also more than a one-trick pony, he can catch passes out of the backfield. He caught 94 balls while a member of the Bills and had a career-high 47 catches for 300 yards in 2008.

Running back had been a position of need for Seattle after the team’s stable of running backs prior to Lynch’s arrival managed to amass just 79.5 yards per game, good for 29th in the league.

In his ninth year as a professional wide receiver, the 31-year-old Branch had become expendable. Despite Branch being the third-most targeted at his position by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck this season, rookie Golden Tate, second-year slot receiver Deon Butler and fifth-year veteran Mike Williams have been inexplicitly anointed by Seattle head coach Pete Carroll as the team’s long-term options.

Plus, Lynch’s services come at a discount compared to Branch. The receiver is making $5.47 million this year and, in his final year of his current contract, will make $5.95 million next year. Like Branch, next season will be Lynch’s final one under his current contract; however, he’ll earn over $4 million less. After earning $885,000 this year, Lynch is set to make $1.14 million in 2011.

Ultimately, determining which trade will better impact Seattle will play itself out on the field. After first glance though, it looks like the 80-plus percent of football fans that voted Tuesday in favor of the Lynch deal are right.

Can’t get enough NFLGridironGab?  Follow SeahawksGab Editor Devon Heinen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DevonHeinen.


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One Response to “Branch Gone, Lynch In, but Which Move is better for Seattle”

  1. Rich says:

    I think that Lynch will impact the most mainly being that 3rd down conversions (or lack their of) have been with 1 or 2 yards to go. I would rather have a run up the gut with Lynch rather than trying to find a 5’9″ guy in the flat who just cant seem to get open very often since he came here.

    Stokley/Tate/Butler…one of the 3 will fill Branch’s spot right away.

    Now to deal with the hawks 31’st ranked pass defense against Cutler…