No end in sight to Branch holdout

One wide receiver impasse was settled this week when the Denver Broncos shipped the disgruntled Ashley Lelie to the Atlanta Falcons as part of a three-team trade.

Don't expect the league's other holdout involving a wide receiver to be so readily resolved.

Even with Friday afternoon's announcement that the Patriots have granted Deion Branch permission through Sept. 1 at 4 p.m. to speak to other teams about a trade, and to negotiate a contract, there are no guarantees of movement in a mess that has very quietly grown increasingly contentious. The move by the Pats on Friday means Branch can reach a contract accord with another franchise. But step two is that New England has to come to terms with another team on compensation.