It took five years, but Tom Brady finally got the wide receiver he wanted all along. But at what cost?
When the Patriots acquired Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2011, they filled the void created by trading Randy Moss to the Vikings earlier in the week.
Even though the move makes the Patriots a better team than they were on Sunday, it doesn't make them a better team than they were last Monday night against the Dolphins.
Let's face it. Deion Branch is good, but he isn't Randy Moss good.
For those of you thinking that Branch will just slide into Moss' spot and be the same deep threat, sorry, but you are sadly mistaken. Randy Moss is one of the most talented receivers to ever play the game. Deion Branch is just one of the better receivers to play the game.
Compare Moss to a Lamborghini Murcielago and Branch to a Toyota Camry. The Camry gets good mileage and gets the job done well. It's very dependable, but after being driven for more than five years, it's not going to wow anyone.
Now, the Lamborghini gets everyone's attention. It's fast, stylish and exciting. It may not win an all-around car of the year award, but that's alright because it's built for speed and to impress your neighbors.
Branch won't command the same coverage that Moss does on a nightly basis. Bill Belichick can send Branch on deep routes until he's blue in the face, but defensive coordinators know that he can't burn them like Moss could.
The only area where Branch has an edge is in the championship department. Branch, MVP of Super Bowl XXXVIII, has proven that he could perform on the biggest stage. Moss played well in the Patriots' 17-14 loss to the Giants back in Super Bowl XLII (5 catches, 62 yards), but the team came up short and couldn't deliver him a ring.
While Branch will help the Patriots this year more than the third-round pick that New England traded Moss for, there's no way he will match the production of Moss. Period.