He still hasn’t lived up to his potential, but Alan Branch is worth taking another flier on if you're the Seattle Seahawks. After being drafted 33rd overall by the Arizona Cardinals big things were expected from Branch. He failed to live up to these expectations and the Cardinals eventually let Branch walk in free agency and join the Seahawks on a 2-year, $7 million dollar contract.
Branch fell short of the lofty expectations placed upon him in Seattle as well, but still proved to be a valuable member of the defensive line. In his two seasons with the Seahawks Branch racked up 4 sacks and 64 tackles.
His stats don’t speak to the level of play needed from a starter on the defensive front, but he would be great as a member of the rotation. You can never have too many good defensive linemen. Just look at the Detroit Lions of two years ago.
Another thing worth taking into account is that Branch’s play got better as the season went on. Maybe he has finally found his niche, and is just scratching the surface of his potential in this system. After all, his best performance as a Seahawk came in their wild card matchup against the Redskins in this year’s playoffs.
Many of this year’s free agent defensive linemen, although valuable players, will only be lured by expensive long term contracts. If the Seahawks can’t find the right fit, for the right cap hit and term and they lose Branch to another team they could be in a pretty rough spot. If Branch’s contract demands are fair, I think he’s worth another shot.
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