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From one New England Patriots cornerback to another: Brandon Browner isn't in Darrelle Revis' class, but he is solid and affordable, even if he carries some baggage with him.
The NFL reduced his indefinite ban for violating the league's substance-abuse policy from last season to a four-game suspension and four game checks, according to The Boston Globe's Ben Volin. That sounds like bad news, but that's what turned a potentially elite cover corner into a relative bargain for a Patriots team that didn't have a ton of salary-cap space to play with.
Super Bowl champion head coach Pete Carroll spoke highly of Browner to Volin and was sad to see him go, even if his suspension nearly threatened to sabotage their 2013 season:
He's a very unique football player. He's got a great sense for the position and he's tough, a really tough dude. I talked to Bill (Belichick) about it yesterday, we were kicking it around a bit. I'm envious he gets to coach that guy. He's a fantastic football player. ...
... They're getting a terrific football player. He is a great competitor, fierce competitor, and when he finally gets back to playing, I know he'll work out really hard to get ready and all of that, and he'll show them why he was part of a really good secondary.
After the first four games of 2014, Browner will be a part of another really good secondary while working opposite of Revis. With the Seahawks, Browner covered one side. In New England, it is conceivable that Revis will go to the opposing team's No. 1, and Browner will merely have to deal with the second option.
That's a mismatch—all to the reasonable tune of a mere $1 million of guaranteed money, according to OverTheCap.com.