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, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks last season, had been suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. The suspension was in place because the Browner had been classified as a Stage Three violator of the policy, which means he would have to sit out one full calendar year before being eligible for re-instatement. However, Browner was prepared to sue the NFL for for unfairly tagging him as a Stage Three instead of Stage One. It is his argument the missed drug tests in 2006, which is a violation of the policy, happened while Browner was out of the league. This was argument enough for Browner and the NFL to come to some sort of a settlement.
Both of Browner’s failed tests for were for marijuana.
According to a report from USA Today, Browner will be eligible to be signed next week when free agency opens up and will be allowed to participate in off-season workouts, training camp, and the preseason. The catch is a multi-game suspension is likely for Browner to start the season. It is unknown right now how many games Browner would miss.
From an on-field standpoint, Browner, 29, is exactly the kind of corner the Chiefs are looking for in their secondary. At 6-4, he has the size and physical nature to do well in man-to-man and press coverage. Browner batted a groin injury and the suspension last year, but was still a positive player for Seattle in limited action. His best season was in 2011 when he ranked 10th amongst all cornerbacks in coverage with a +9 Pro Football Focus coverage grade. He’s also traditionally be good against the run.
The depth of cornerback in the draft and free agency plus the pending suspension should be enough to drive Browner’s price down into a range the Chiefs can handle. There’s already been some hints the Chiefs could be interested in Browner. If Kansas City could sign him and then draft a corner in the third or fourth round then the secondary would be in excellent shape in both the short and long-term. It would also make Brandon Flower expendable.
This isn’t the most exciting way of improving the secondary – signing a guy whom you know will be suspended to start the season – but it would be a savvy move for the Chiefs if they can also add another defensive back in the draft.