The Jacksonville Jaguars are reaching out to teams around the league to see if there's any interest in trading for defensive end Andre Branch, according to Adam Stites of bigcatcountry.com.
Branch was drafted by the Jaguars at the top of the second round in the 2012 draft. Branch spent most of his rookie season playing behind Jason Babin at defensive end and only recorded one sack and nine tackles. Branch was drafted to bring a much needed pass rush boost to the Jacksonville defense, but the rookie defensive end out of Clemson disappointed in his time on the field last year.
Branch isn't off to a good start this year either. He hasn't done much in the preseason, and the team may be losing patience with the second-year defensive end.
Despite the team shopping Branch around, Adam Stites believes the young pass rusher will still stay with the team this year:
"The most likely scenario is still the young defensive end makes the 53-man roster on Saturday and remains with the Jaguars for the time being."
The trade talks may not surmount to anything, but if the Jaguars send Branch packing, they will be banking on Babin bouncing back this year after a rough 2012 season.
Babin played in only five games last season for the Jaguars because of injury and recorded an unimpressive 1.5 sacks. This is a far cry from the 18 sacks he had back in 2010 with the Philadelphia Eagles. If Babin can return to his old form than Branch is affordable for the Jaguars to lose.
Branch could still offer a team some pass rush ability, especially a team that runs a more traditional 4-3 defense. Maybe Jacksonville is hoping somebody still sees some potential in Branch and is willing to take him on as a project. However, the fact that Branch is already being mentioned in trade talks as a former second-round pick in only his sophomore year in the NFL is not a good sign for the future of the young defensive end.
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