Friday, September 08, 2006

Branch hearings delayed

After looking over both articles from the Globe and the Herald, I'm no closer to understanding the delay, but it looks as if Branch won't be back for more than a week.

The league had hoped to join the two grievances into one, but that was rejected. So, Branch will get two hearings by two different arbitrators. The first hearing will be held next Thursday and Friday on Branch's contention the team has negotiated in bad faith throughout his contract.

The second hearing will take place after that on how the team reneged on an oral promise to deal him.

All of this is quite ridiculous, if you ask me. Given the well known understanding from everyone (other than in Branch's legal team), the Pats weren't going to trade Branch unless they got an incredible deal. And as for dealing in bad faith, he's the one holding out on a contract he signed. The NFL renegotiates contracts all the time when a player plays above what he was signed at. But Branch got a new offer and a reasonable one at that.

But really, my biggest problem is he won't be playing this week or even next week. The Patriots need a number one receiver, even if he wouldn't be a number one on half the teams in the league.

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