This bomb shell from the Boston Globe. Deion Branch is going to Seattle for a first round draft pick.
Patriots blog -- Reiss Pieces - Boston.com
The Deion Branch holdout is over, but Branch isn’t returning to the Patriots. Branch, the fifth-year receiver, has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft choice today
I have to admit I'm shocked by the news, but the trade does make sense. Branch probably could not have returned to the team in good standing. The Patriots made a good offer to Deion, but were rejected. Perhaps, after yesterday's win, management thinks they can get away without their number one receiver.
I believe they do need him. They will be better off next year. But that's not this year. They're going to need a deep threat and, despite Watsons big run and catch yesterday, a tight end will not be out deep on every play.
Update: The Patriots have just confirmed the trade.
I'm not sure the Patriots had a choice in the matter, but this is not good news. After letting Givens walk this offseason, they didn't need this to happen.