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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
There was nary a shrug when the disappointing Deion Branch era came to an abrupt halt in Seattle with his Oct. 11 trade back to the Patriots in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. "(Recently acquired WR Brandon) Stokley went right away to the slot, which had become Branch's best spot," said one daily team observer on the extent to which Branch appeared to have become expendable despite being ranked second on the team with 13 receptions. "It's so funny. All you kept hearing when they first got Branch was how he was going to need time to develop a rapport with (QB) Matt (Hasselbeck). And after just three practices, Stokley becomes the most targeted receiver (in his first game)." With Branch moving on, the hope is that promising young receivers Deon Butler and rookie Golden Tate will branch out accordingly. "They'll take what they can get from either of them," the observer said.