By Jim Moore
I guess you can have a bunch of different feelings when it comes to Brandon Browner.
You probably know the most recent developments in his story. He was prepared to file a lawsuit challenging the validity of the indefinite suspension the NFL handed down in December after his latest violation of the substance-abuse policy, partly on the grounds that he was punished for missing tests while he was not in the league.
Under the threat of the lawsuit, the NFL on Wednesday reinstated Browner and reduced his indefinite suspension to the first four games of the season, and the former Seahawks cornerback is now an unrestricted free agent.
I’m all over the map when it comes to how I feel about Browner:
Confused. He should have never been suspended indefinitely in the first place. How could the NFL have expected him to show up for drug tests when he was no longer employed by the league? Then again, I’m confused as to why Browner was caught with pot in his system, knowing full well the NFL tests for marijuana.
In disbelief. If I’m Browner, I can’t imagine putting myself in a position where I blow an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. I also can’t imagine blowing an opportunity at a huge payday while I’m in the final year of my contract and I’m 29 years old.
Angry. That’s probably too strong of a word. As a fan, it turns out as a no harm, no foul because the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.
If I were one of Browner’s teammates, I’d be angry that he potentially weakened the team by putting himself in a position to be suspended. But more than anything, they sounded like they felt bad for him and missed him, which struck me as strange.
But as you know, it turned out amazingly well for the Seahawks. Browner’s replacement, Byron Maxwell, is a better cover corner.
When Michael Grey threw out the question on “Wyman, Mike and Moore” whether Seahawks fans would want Browner to return, I was surprised at the reaction from texters.
Most said yes, they’d like to see him back on the team. I suppose they like his physical play and what he’s meant to the Legion of Boom. I’m also guessing that they’d want him back only if he comes on the cheap.
But Browner will get better offers elsewhere. He must look at himself as still being a starting cornerback, whereas here he’d have to back up Maxwell and play as a nickel back.
Lesser teams with struggling secondaries might accept Browner’s baggage if he can shore up their pass defense.
I wouldn’t want him back even at the NFL minimum. His ship has sailed. Two years ago he jeopardized the team’s chances when he violated the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy and missed the last four games of the regular season.
When you look at his time here, you can thank him for a job that was mostly well done. You can appreciate his story and the startling fact that general manager John Schneider found him in Calgary before coach Pete Carroll helped turned him into a Pro Bowl cornerback. He will always fondly be remembered as an original member of the Legion of Boom.
But it’s time to say goodbye for good to Brandon Browner.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.