Catching up with Branch, Seattle castoffs

Jackie MacMullan's piece on Deion Branch for ESPNBoston.com includes some items of potential interest for Seattle Seahawks fans.

Branch caught nine passes for 98 yards and a touchdown in his first game back with New England. He added three catches for 133 yards and two scores in his most recent game for the Patriots.

These were the sorts of performances Seattle expected from Branch upon acquiring him from the Patriots in 2006. The Seahawks sent him back to New England after four games this season, thrilled to recoup even a fourth-round choice in return.

Branch told MacMullan the Seahawks were never quite sure how to use him, and that the game plans were hit-and-miss in terms of quality.

Trading Branch back to New England was a deal that worked well for both teams. Branch was more valuable to New England than he was to Seattle. The Seahawks' Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu are enjoying strong seasons.

A quick look at how some other Seattle castoffs are faring:

  • Rob Sims, Lions guard. Sims has played well enough with Detroit for the Lions to sign him to a four-year extension.

  • Nate Burleson, Lions WR. Detroit paid a relatively high price in free agency. Burleson has 40 receptions, four for touchdowns.

  • Lawrence Jackson, Lions DE. Has 2.5 sacks in his last two games. A concussion sidelined him last week.

  • Josh Wilson, Ravens CB. Has started the last three games. Was on the wrong end of a no-call when the Falcons' Roddy White ran over him.

  • Owen Schmitt, Eagles FB. The latest ex-Seahawk to start at fullback for Philadelphia.

  • T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Ravens WR. Has made a couple of key catches, including one game-winner, but hasn't factored much into the offense overall.

  • Mansfield Wrotto, Bills RT. Wrotto has started the Bills' last three games. The team won two of them and came within a dropped pass of winning the other.

  • Deon Grant, Giants S. Has three interceptions, one sack and four starts for the NFL's second-ranked defense.

  • Darryl Tapp, Eagles DE. Has two sacks in nine games, with no starts. Seattle has gotten 7.5 sacks and 11 starts from Chris Clemons, acquired from the Eagles in the Tapp trade.

  • Seneca Wallace, Browns QB. Has four touchdowns, two interceptions, an 88.5 rating and 1-3 starting record with Cleveland.

  • Julius Jones, Saints RB. A 54-yard run against Carolina has helped Jones average 4.6 yards per attempt on 37 rushes with New Orleans.

  • Cory Redding, Ravens DE. Has six starts for the NFL's eighth-ranked defense.

Some on the list weren't going to play prominent roles in Seattle. The team's new leadership wanted to turn over the roster, which is typical. A few castoffs invariably find success elsewhere. Of the group, Sims is the one Seattle could use the most.