Whenever a quarterback has lost his top receiver, the immediate reaction of the fanasty footballer is to cringe then move towards determining who the new #1 will be and then checking the freeagent pool to see if he is available.
When I heard the news the Patriots are going to allow #1 WR Deion Branch to explore a trade, I cringed, thught about who would be the new #1 and....
Wait a second. Branch didn't even get 1,000 receiving last season. Does it matter who the new #1 is?
Troy Brown (39/466)? Rookie Chad Jackson ? Why not rookie Patrick Cobbs?
With the Patriots, no one will lose by refusing to gamble on whoever would be the #1. The ball has been distributed across the receiving roster, and there is little reason to believe this season will be any different.
As a 3 WR, any of the above are good gambles. If any of the above are your #2? Uh-oh.
Update [2006-8-26 19:37:28 by Eric Hinz]: The original post had listed David Givens as a Patriot. He signed with the Titans in the off-season. Who can blame Branch for holding out? Givens will be paid $5MM for basically the same production he had with the Patriots.