Receiver Deion Branch has been traded to New England for a fourth-round pick. The Seahawks confirmed the trade occurred, but not the specific draft choice. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported it was a fourth-round pick.
I had been told earlier this afternoon he was being dealt for a fourth-round choice, but could not confirm that until after ESPN first reported the deal.
The Seahawks received a fourth-round pick in exchange for him, and while that's not the first-rounder they gave up to sign him, it is a better-than-expected return for a 31-year-old wide receiver who was making more than $5 million in base salary this season.
Consider that just last week, New England got a third-round pick in exchange for Randy Moss, one of the most productive receivers of all time.
The fourth-round pick Seattle will receive from New England will be the better of the two fourth-round picks the Patriots hold. New England also holds Denver's fourth-round pick by virtue of the Broncos' trade for Laurence Maroney.
Branch played four seasons for Seattle, making more than $13 million in base salary in that time. It's believed his signing bonus was about $7 million.
Branch's number of receptions declined each of his first three seasons in Seattle, a downward trend that ended last season when he caught 45 passes. A starter this season, he ranks No. 2 on the team with 13 catches.
Branch was absent from Seahawks practice Monday for personal reasons.