Spare me the rending of clothing and gnashing of teeth over the Deion Branch trade. Sure, it would have been better for the team's championship chances if the Super Bowl MVP were running routes and getting open for Brady this year. But at what point will the Pats fan base realize that the very essence of this team's success is in its business model? Specifically: Don't overpay for talent when there are acceptable alternatives. One player's absence (with the obvious exception of Brady) does not break the back of the team.
So, while the departures of McGinest, Givens, Vinatieri and Branch are not something you want as an organization--there is something to be said for the "whole is bigger than the sum of the parts" strategy that has yielded 3 Super Bowl banners for the faithful. You don't have to be a Coach B sycophant to realize that the best model for NFL success in the 21st century resides right here in Foxboro.
Personally, I hate to see Branch go. But, come on. We have not only survived, we have thrived is similar situations over the past five years.