BY Adam Lewis 05:59PM 12/18/2013

Seahawks CB Browner suspended indefinitely

An arbitrator Wednesday denied the appeal of Seahawks CB Brandon Browner, meaning he is done for at least a year and is unlikely to return to Seattle.

Brandon Browner, whom the NFL says tested positive for a banned stimulant, is suspended for at least a year. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Seahawks CB Brandon Browner, who hasn’t appeared in a game since Nov. 10 (groin injury), was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the league said in a statement Wednesday.

The announcement means Browner, 29, who missed the past four games to injury but was eligible and receiving pay, lost his appeal after he reportedly tested positive for a small amount of marijuana. Per league policy, an indefinite suspension mandates that the player sit out a full year before he is eligible to apply for reinstatement.

Browner is a free agent after the 2013 season, which means his career in Seattle is likely finished. Browner probably isn’t done fighting the league, an idea he reinforced late Wednesday through his Twitter account. The tweet below came from his agent shortly after the league announced the news.

Browner, from Oregon State, reportedly tested positive during his first year in the NFL with Denver in 2006, which requires violators be randomly tested more frequently as long as they are union members. He played in the Canadian Football League from 2007-10, when he apparently missed drug tests, which advanced him to the third stage of the NFL’s policy.

Independent of the substance-abuse violation, Browner was suspended for four games at the end of the 2012 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly for the use of the prescription stimulant Adderall.

When word leaked from the NFL in November that Browner had another episode of substance abuse and was suspended for a year  — the standard punishment for a stage-three violator — he appealed, reportedly claiming he was unaware that he was missing tests while playing in Canada.

An arbitrator hearing the appeal ruled Wednesday in the NFL’s favor, and the punishment clock started immediately. But the lack of resolution was an increasing irritant to coach Pete Carroll, who had to keep Browner on the active roster in case he won the appeal and would become available to the Seahawks once healthy.

 “It has taken a long time and I’ve been a little disappointed in that,” Carroll said before he knew the suspension was denied, “but we’re handling it . . . He’s just about to get ready to where he can practice now. He’s getting close. It’s kind of iffy whether he can do it or not. I think if he was practicing today, he would be able to go, in a limited fashion.”

Asked why he indulged Browner so long, rather than put him on injured reserve in order to add a player, Carroll said, “I think in respect to the player and what he’s done and what he offers our team. We were able to do it because of the versatility of some other guys. Had he come back, who would play? It’s a big, great question and one of you would probably ask that question a week from now if he was back.”

Carroll was much more animated when talking of Byron Maxwell, who has done well replacing Browner as well as Walter Thurmond, who will return next week after a four-game suspension for substance abuse.

“Byron has done a great job,” he said. “He’s made it through. That Wally Pipp story comes to life sometimes. I’m thrilled about what Byron has done. He’s been such an impact player for us. It’s turned out very, very well for us.”


  • 1coolguy

    Dumb and dumber – wow, the price he is/will pay for a little weed.
    Sounds like he needs to move in with his agent for babysitting.

    • art thiel

      Cheech and Chong made a nice career out of it, but the industry ceiling, pardon the expression, is not high.

  • sabasarge

    Sorry, can’t get too terribly excited about a wee bit of weed. I mean really…… and no, I don’t partake. Funny, nobody gives a crap when these dudes go out drinking.
    The only issue here is how smart or how dumb Browner is in getting caught.

    What a joke.

    • art thiel

      Well, the NFL does care about DUIs. But the punishment in this state, in the minds of many, is ludicrous. But he knew the NFL rules.

  • RadioGuy

    Brandon who? Didn’t he used to play for the Seahawks or something? Didn’t Seattle pitch a shutout on the road against Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz without him?
    This is what happens when you’ve got enough depth that you can plug in Player B for Player A and your defense actually improves.

    Hope that weed was totally chronic, Brandon, because it may have cost you your NFL career. Guys known to already have these kinds of “issues” who still partake during a season when their team is on a Super Bowl run are pretty much regarded as radioactive. Good luck in the Arena league…maybe they have an opening in Spokane.

    • art thiel

      Carroll rarely betrays unhappiness with players. He was unhappy today.

  • jafabian

    Browner was told the rules. When he entered the league, when he first joined the Seahawks and most especially when he was suspended last year. He’s arguing semantics and interpretations right now instead of being accountable. He’ll regret not taking the deal the league offered him. Hope Thurmond took note of all this, for his sake.

    • art thiel

      Is B.C. Bud so good that it makes one willing to sacrifice a career?

      • jafabian

        Evidently his time in the CFL was pretty memorable for him. For all we know the reasons why he never did his follow up testing while there is because he was toking some Canadian weed the whole time while playing there!

        • mindful

          He got fired from the NFL then went to the CFL. He should have then been held accountable for missing it when he got rehired back to the NFL. It just because were winning is the reason there doing this now. Sue them browner. even though we do not need you. It was stupid of him to take the chance.

  • Will

    Either the NFL is populated by too many miscreants or the No Fun League is an Orwellian Big Brother with a “hang ’em first, try ’em later” value system.

    • art thiel

      It did take seven years before Browner’s misdeeds got him booted. As for weed being the culprit, this is not the state where outrage wells for such a crime. But every player in the league knows the rules.

  • mindful

    I am sure the weed was good , but how many jobs do you know that? That after you leave on your own or other means , and then you got to be tested for your entire time off or looking for new job, or for the rest of your life?, Even unions jobs will not allow that or Mac jobs will not allow that. Heck I am sure doctors or nurses do not got to go through that with out a warning.

    Yea it was wrong to even to smoke it or be around it. Since it your job not to smoke it.

    • art thiel

      His agent thinks there’s a legal case here, but as long as he was continuing to regain employment in the NFL, he was subject to the CBA rules.