Veteran cornerback Brandon Browner is reportedly looking for a new home following the start of free agency.
"Saints officially released Browner and used the post-June 1 designation on him to save salary-cap space," reported ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday morning.
"By designating Browner a June 1 cut, Saints will save [$2.25 million] against cap—but not until June 1. Will count [$4.05 million] this [year], [$1.3 million] in 2017," ESPN's Mike Triplett reported. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk had stated on Feb. 24 that terminating the remainder of Browner's three-year, $15 million deal will result in $2.6 million counting against the salary cap, but it will also allow the franchise to avoid a $750,000 roster bonus that's due on the third day of the league year.
The 31-year-old one-time Pro Bowler had already appeared to reveal his exit when he tweeted his goodbyes to New Orleans after just one season with the team:
Brandon Browner @bbrowner27
https://t.co/3scqBIQ0uh2/5/2016, 1:23:40 PM
The former Oregon State standout spent the first three seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks and signed with the New England Patriots after winning Super Bowl XLVIII. He then won Super Bowl XLIX in his only campaign with the Pats before jumping ship to New Orleans.
Much was expected of the 6'4" corner, but he struggled through an abysmal 2015 season, finishing the year with 76 tackles and just one interception in 16 starts.
Most disappointingly, Browner led the NFL in defensive penalties by a wide margin, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
DB Brandon Browner to be released by Saints. Browner: Called for 24 penalties (incl. declined) in 2015, 9 more than any other def player2/5/2016, 5:22:07 PM
Keenan Lewis and the unheralded Delvin Breaux ultimately outperformed him, which made him expendable entering 2016.
Though Browner is coming off his worst season, he could come at a discounted price in free agency, and his starting experience on championship teams figures to make him an attractive option.
Browner is a prime bounce-back candidate if he can get his penalty issues under control, and as he proved during his time in Seattle and New England, he can thrive if he lands in the right situation.
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