BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 03/06/2014

Should Seahawks re-sign CB Brandon Browner?

The Seahawks now have an opportunity to bring back cornerback Brandon Browner, a two-time drug offender. But should they? Vote here.

Brandon Browner has been reinstated by the NFL but must sit out the first four games of the 2014 season. Should the Seahawks re-sign the cornerback? /

The NFL has reinstated former Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner, an unrestricted free agent who played eight games for the Seahawks in 2013 before his second suspension in two years. The question is whether the Seahawks should attempt to re-sign Browner or wash their hands of him.

Under the terms of his reinstatement, Browner, originally shelved for a year, must serve a four-game suspension without pay at the start of the season. He will also have to forfeit pay for an additional four weeks.

This means that Browner will miss 13 weeks of pay due to the suspensions, including five games in 2013 and eight games in 2014.

The official statement on the Browner matter, issued jointly by the NFL and Players Association:

“The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to conditionally reinstate Brandon Browner from his indefinite suspension under the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. Browner was suspended without pay for the Seattle Seahawks’ final five games of the 2013 season, including the playoffs.

“His contract with the Seahawks expires at the end of the 2013 League Year on March 11. He will be eligible to sign with a club and participate in offseason and preseason activities. Should he comply with the terms of the Substance Abuse Policy and Program, he will be fully reinstated after serving a four-game suspension.

Here Browner’s statement following the NFL-NFLPA action, from his Twitter account:

“I received wonderful news today. The NFL has reinstated me, and I now have the opportunity to prove to the fans and my teammates how important this sport is to me. I realize now more than ever that being part of the NFL is not a right, but a privilege.

“I am grateful that Commissioner Goodell and my agent were able to resolve this issue in a positive, productive manner so I can continue my career, provide for my family, and help my team win a Super Bowl. Thank you to all who have gone out of their way to show their support. I will live up to your expectations of me.

Browner started eight games, then was injured, before the NFL busted him, reportedly for marijuana. The previous year, he was suspended four games for using a performance-enhancing drug, reportedly Adderall.

In November, the NFL listed Browner as a stage-three offender, which prompted a one-year suspension because he did not submit to urine tests while playing in the Canadian Football League from 2007-2010 after first failing a test for marijuana while with the Denver Broncos.

The NFL amended its one-year ban after Browner’s attorney threatened to sue the league over the length of the suspension.

Should the Seahawks attempt to re-sign Browner, who was voted a Super Bowl share by his teammates?

PRO: Browner earned a Pro Bowl invitation as recently as 2011 and will be available to any NFL team on the cheap due to his checkered history. He knows the Seahawks’ system and his teammates have expressed unanimous support for him. Browner’s replacement, Walter Thurmond, who also sat out four games in 2013 for a PEDs bust, is an unrestricted free agent with opportunities elsewhere.

Although Byron Maxwell played superbly in place of Browner and Thurmond late in the season, what if Maxwell suffered a major injury? The Seahawks would be wise to lock down, at little cost, the insurance Browner could provide.

CON: Browner has been busted twice. The Seahawks can’t trust him after his misdeeds. He’s skilled, sure, but will be 30 in August and his play has declined a little. Maxwell is as good a player – and younger. Even if the Seahawks can sign Browner for a modest salary, it’s time to move on.


  • RadioGuy

    Down the road. Browner’s a solid player who fits what Carroll wants in a DB, but he’s also a guy who was willing to throw his season away for want of a buzz and the Seahawks still managed to win the Super Bowl without him. After two NFL suspensions and one in the CFL, it’s probably time to cut bait and let someone else take a chance on him.

    Then again, these ARE the Seahawks, where players caught taking banned substances is no big deal as long as you win (Al Davis would love this team). He’ll be back in Seattle.

  • jafabian

    Do they need him? No. They won a Super Bowl without him but his return would make them that much deeper in the secondary. I’m sure were he to return Schneider would load up the contract with a lot of stipulations and probably do at best a two year deal.

    If Browner and Thurmond were never suspended I think Thurmond would have been named the starter at mid-season. He was doing that well and Browner didn’t seem the same player that he was in the past. Both Lane and Maxwell are more than capable at replacing both. No team can go through an NFL season with no injuries. It’s certainly worth exploring, depending on the cost.

  • ll9956

    IMO Browner deserves another chance. However, PC should sit him down and give him a friendly but stern talking-to, indicating that he is walking on egg shells. The purpose would be to impress on him in no uncertain terms that he has to stay out of even the slightest hint of getting into trouble. Any indication that he isn’t holding to this bargain will result in his release. This understanding should be written into his contract. He has made valuable contributions to the team, so I think it makes sense to try to keep him.

  • Bryan

    I voted no, but my take is most teams are going to see that he can’t help in their existing schemes. Even if the Seahawks’ scheme which suited him perfectly he got exposed at times and simply can’t keep up with most NFL receivers one on one while changing directions. I think the Hawks should wait, see what offers he gets, and possibly get involved if the price is right.

  • notaboomer

    if it causes beer and ticket prices to decline, then sign him. btw, does paul allen piss test his other employees for weed?