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Branch: 'I'm a Seattle Seahawk'

Posted by Albert Breer  February 18, 2010 06:26 PM

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"Either the front line wasn't pairing with Matt, or Matt and I weren't on the same page, or then, Matt was banged up. See, the thing was, in New England, everything was perfect, everything was in place."

And really, nothing changed Branch's feeling on that.

On the day he was traded, Branch said he fielded calls from about 12 of his Patriots teammates, all of them telling him that when Bill Belichick informed the team of the trade, six veterans stood up and walked out of the meeting room. Branch appreciated that. But he also felt like it was unnecessary.

That was because as Branch boarded the plane for Seattle, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft called him to impart this message -- "We tried our best, you tried your best" -- and Branch told them he appreciated what they'd done for him. "Right there," Branch said, the hatchet "was buried."

"Looking back, I wish all that hadn't happened, I really wish we could've sat down and come to an agreement on a contract," Branch said. "Who knows how many Super Bowls we could've won? There were so many great players that have left since I left. I wish we'd sat down and got to the nitty gritty, and hashed it out. But that's the business side, and that stuff happens."

Branch said he's stayed in touch with Brady, Kevin Faulk, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, and ex-Patriots like Troy Brown, Richard Seymour and Tedy Bruschi, and still talks affectionately about the "brotherhood" they share.

But he's also turned the page. So if Branch were available, and the Patriots made another run at him ...

"I would weigh that," Branch said. "I'm not gonna lie, Bill, he'd have the advantage on a lot of teams. I started there, I'm associated with them so much, that's the place I was drafted at, and we've done so much together. And the greatest quarterback is still in New England. But, yeah, man -- 2012."

That's when Branch's contract expires. And so Deion again makes his point: The Seahawks start their offseason program on March 15, and Branch expects to be there.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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