The Patriots start their offseason mini-camp today, and it appears that wide receiver Deion Branch will not be among the participants. He wants a new contract and has decided the follow the path of teammate Richard Seymour, who skipped mini-camp last year and missed a couple days of training camp before getting something worked out with the club. Is it a big deal that Branch won’t be there? Tom E Curran says that it isn’t, as Branch will still be in the lineup on opening day, and will play for the Patriots this season – he has no choice. Jerome Solomon talks to Tom Brady and Seymour about Branch’s situation, who hope that things get worked out for Branch. John Tomase looks at Rodney Harrison, who is showing signs that he might be getting closer to being able to play again…great news for the Patriots. Solomon also has an update on Harrison, who is upbeat and positive, but realistic on any timetable for his return. Dan Pires has some more on Branch, while also looking at the recovery of Harrison.
Personally, I think it’s Pedro’s new Shaughnessy hairstyle that might be messing him up, but whatever is going on, Martinez needs to get back on track or he can forget about George Steinbrenner dangling many millions for many years on a guy with John Burkett stuff.