Seahawks Trade WR Deion Branch to the Patriots

The Seattle Seahawks have traded wide receiver Deion Branch to the New England Patriots, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

New England will send their fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft for Branch, who began his NFL career with the Patriots as a second-round pick out of Louisville in 2002.

Branch, 31, caught 213 passes for 2,744 yards and 14 touchdowns, and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX, for New England before a contract dispute prompted his trade to the Seahawks on September 11, 2006 in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Branch has 403 receptions for 5,091 yards and 29 touchdowns during his career.

New England is now on the hook for the $3.861 million remaining on Branch's 2010 base salary. Branch is also under contract through 2011, when he is owed a $5.95 million.

With Branch traded, young wide receivers Golden Tate and Deon Butler will likely start opposite Mike Williams, with recent free agent addition Brandon Stokley working the slot in the team's three-wide receiver packages.

After being signed just a few days earlier, Stokley led the 'Hawks with 4 receptions for 62 yards in the team's Week 4 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

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