When Seattle Seahawks’ corner Brandon Browner refused a shorter suspension time, it was believed he had a solid appeal to beat his second suspension.
The NFL denied his appeal, effectively suspending the 6’5” corner for all of next year. It also means he won’t be wearing Seattle’s blue and neon green any time soon.
Browner’s a free agent after this season, and Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane have been playing phenomenally in his and Walter Thurmond’s absence. Thurmond is serving the final week of his four week suspension, but Maxwell and Lane will probably retain the starting and nickel corner roles for the playoffs.
This is Browner’s second violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and so I don’t feel sorry for him. I’d also probably feel more saddened by his imminent departure if not for Maxwell’s recent play. Browner was a physical and tall corner that fit the Legion of Boom quite easily, but Maxwell has been proving his physicality and effectiveness and is enjoying huge success. So, Seattle’s going to be fine without Browner.
When he’s reinstated two years from now, it’ll be interesting what offers will be extended his way. I can’t imagine Seattle putting forth an offer, but a market should be out there for him. That’s a ways away, though. Hopefully Browner is currently focusing on how badly he screwed up this time, because it doesn’t seem like he learned anything from last year.
With Browner virtually out of the picture, Maxwell is almost guaranteed the starting job next year. A final question mark is Walter Thurmond, who will be back Week 17. It will be interesting to see if Thurmond has learned from his mistake that cost him a month of playing time. Had Thurmond stayed clean, he might be enjoying the success Maxwell is having. Instead, Maxwell’s getting to prove himself, and Thurmond is on the outside looking in.
The 12th man might as well say goodbye to Browner now. I imagine there’s some mixed feelings. Seattle fans remember Browner’s 2011 Pro Bowl season in which he grabbed six picks, but these two suspensions taint their memories of him.
To members of the 12th man, are you ready to say good riddance and fully welcome Maxwell to the starting eleven, or are you going to miss what Browner contributed to the Hawks’ defense? Leave a comment below and let me know.