Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 25
Tom Pelissero of USA Today provides details on Brandon Browner's deal with the Patriots:
There is a certain amount of risk attached to former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, but the New England Patriots may have a steal on their hands after signing the former Pro Bowler to a three-year, $17 million contract.
The team announced the deal on Saturday:
ESPN's Josina Anderson had the report first:
Adam Schefter then confirmed:
Browner's NFL future was very much in doubt at that point, but he received new life when he was reinstated earlier this month, and he now has an exciting opportunity ahead of him.
Following Browner's suspension last season, it seemed as though he realized that a departure from Seattle was a foregone conclusion. He said, via Pelissero:
I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for four years. I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12's for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful.
The odds were stacked against Browner from the very beginning, as he went undrafted out of Oregon State before embarking on a career in the CFL. The 6'4" Browner was a dominant force north of the border, and it ultimately led to the Seattle Seahawks giving him a chance in 2011.
Browner impressed immediately to the tune of six interceptions, two touchdowns and a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie season. That marked the beginning of Seattle's transformation into a dominant defense, and the Seahawks haven't looked back.
Although Browner played in only eight games this past season and missed Seattle's run to the Super Bowl, he was productive once again when he was on the field. Browner is firmly in his prime at 29 years of age, and he can be a lock-down corner assuming he stays out of trouble off the field.
One of the most intriguing things about Browner is his potential to play multiple positions. Upon visiting the Patriots during free agency, Mark Daniels of the Boston Herald suggested that converting to safety was a possibility:
At Browner's height, it could be a natural fit. Browner is also a physical player with ball skills to boot. Regardless of how he is used moving forward, his versatility makes him a valuable commodity.
The fact that Browner may be one more suspension away from squandering his NFL career is a scary thought, but conventional wisdom suggests that Browner will be smart enough to stay on the right path this time around.
If he does, then he could be on a level close to the likes of former teammate Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis and other elite defensive backs. With that in mind, he is well worth the risk.
Browner will be an interesting player to watch in 2014, and he could prove to be a major X-factor in the playoff race as well.
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