Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner during pre game warm ups prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Browner Will Be Suspended For First Four Games

Potential free agent and recently reinstated cornerback Brandon Browner will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. This does not come as a surprise as it was anticipated that part of the deal to reinstate Browner would involve some kind of suspension.

Here’s the joint statement from the NFL and NFLPA:

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 without pay at the start of the 2014 regular season and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay.

In addition to the four game suspension, Browner will also be fined an additional four game checks. Meaning he will be eligible to play as early as week five but won’t be paid until his team’s ninth game.

It will be interesting to see how this effects Browner’s free agency case or whether or not he’ll stay in Seattle. The talent is there and his size is the new en vogue thing in the NFL but how many teams are going to be willing to sign a guy who will have to sit the first four games of the season? If teams are only going to offer a one-year deal then it would stand to reason Browner will just stay in Seattle should the Seahawks want to keep him. Should there be a team willing to offer him a multi-year deal then things could get a little interesting.

Keep in mind, too, the free agent and NFL draft cornerback class are very deep this offseason. The need to take a big risk on a guy like Browner simply may not be there for a lot teams, including Seattle. This would seem to play into the Chiefs’ hands given their tight cap situation so keep an eye on him if Seattle lets Browner walk.

Teams can start negotiating with pending free agents on March 8 and can start signing players to contracts on March 11.

UPDATE:

For salary cap nerds, here’s a what the suspension and additional four weeks of no pay mean for the team who signs him:

 

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