EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 22, 2009

Galloway joins long list of wide receiver blunders

On Pro Football

The Joey Galloway experiment ended with nothing more than a whimper on the field from the veteran (7 catches, 67 yards in three games) and a grunt from Bill Belichick.

"(We) moved on on that one," Belichick explained Tuesday. "He's had a great career. It's just one of those things; it just didn't work out. I don't think it's anybody's fault or anything that you can pinpoint, it's just one of those things that didn't work out."

The 37-year-old Galloway's exit leaves the Patriots at about 3-15 when it comes to wide receiver moves in the Belichick Era.

Of course, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are the hits. Drafting Deion Branch in round 2 in 2002 ranks as the third victory. Of course, Branch being dealt to Seattle when the team chose not to pay him counts as a loss, too, one you can argue from which the Pats have yet to recover.

Remember, for all the gaudy numbers and spectacular aerial exhibitions Tom Brady has delivered with Moss and Welker, they haven't won a Super Bowl together.

Meanwhile, the likes of Charles Johnson, Bethel Johnson, Torrance Small, David Givens and David Patten have Super Bowl rings.

Galloway's dismissal (reportedly he cost the team $1.8 million), while expected after three straight healthy scratches, sheds light on a problem area.

New England remains with basically three healthy backup receivers: rookie Julian Edelman, special teams captain Sam Aiken and little-used Matthew Slater.

Receiver has consistently been an issue here.

Remember Bert Emmanuel and Donald Hayes?

How about second-round bust Chad Jackson?

Donte Stallworth, Doug Gabriel and Reche Caldwell?

Wow, when Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney are the best you can come up with, that's pretty scary.

It all centers on money and value. How this team allowed Branch to hold out and eventually force a deal with Seattle, I will never understand.

In Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, he caught 21 passes for 276 yards and a TD, earning the MVP in the latter.

Compare that to Moss. After his record-breaking 2007 regular season, he caught just seven balls in three playoff games for 94 yards.

Branch's reward was a ticket to the Great Northwest. I'll never be convinced that he couldn't have been the difference maker in the 2006 season. If Branch meant one more regular season win, the Pats would have hosted the AFC title game and likely wouldn't have run out of steam like they did at Indy.

Now, the Pats must find a way to rebound from the latest gaffe. Most likely, it's going to take some help out of the scrap heap.

Dropping out

According to a caller yesterday on the Sports Hub, WBZ-FM radio, Joey Galloway was moving out of his place. The caller claimed he dropped two of three boxes tossed to him.