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While everyone is focusing on the big wave free agency splash made by the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots are quietly trying to make waves of their own. Sure, signing Darrelle Revis was about as big a splash as it gets but the team is also meeting with cornerback Brandon Browner.
Who is Brandon Browner?
Browner was an undrafted free agent in 2005 who was signed by the Broncos and then placed on season ending injured reserve when he broke his arm. He was waived by the team and moved on to a successful career in Canadian Football League with the Calgary Stampeders.
In 2011, Browner signed with the Seattle Seahawks and started all 16 games. He recorded 51 tackles and six interceptions. Two of the interceptions he returned for touchdowns.
In 2012 he was suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. Despite that he was still a replacement on the 2012 Pro Bowl roster after recording 35 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions in 12 games.
Browner’s 2013 season was cut in half due to an injury and another suspension. He was suspended the final five games of the season due to a substance abuse issue which was a result of his missing drug tests while a member of the CFL. The suspension was reported to be for a year but Browner appealed the suspension and lost. However, the NFL announced on March 4th, 2014 that he would be reinstated but would have to miss the first four games of the 2014 season as well as forfeit an additional four weeks of pay.
Why is he a good fit for New England?
Browner who is 29 years of age, 6-foot-4, and 220 pounds is a great fit for the Patriots. First, Browner won’t command big money. His age, his drug issues and his three years NFL experience will drive his price down. While the Patriots can still make a lot of moves to clear cap space, they could get Brower for a reasonable price.
Secondly, the Patriots have had a lot of success with players who have off the field issues. Corey Dillon was viewed as a curmudgeon in Cincinnati and Randy Moss was seen as a cancer by most of the league. Recently, LeGarrette Blount and Aqib Talib were both considered liabilities in Tampa Bay. Something about Bill Belichick and the Patriots seems to make these players focus on the game rather than on outside activities.
The Patriots could use Browner as much as he could use them. After releasing Steve Gregory the team needs another safety to pair with Devin McCourty and Browner would be perfect. He has the size and ball hawk skills to be effective against both the run and the pass.
A meeting doesn’t always lead to a contract but it does show that the Patriots aren’t quite done making moves in free agency. Hopefully another team doesn’t decide to over pay for Browner because having him and Revis in the same secondary would bring a smile to a lot of Patriots fans.
Tags: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Brandon Browner, Calgary Stampeders, Canadien Football League, CFL, Corey Dillon, Darrelle Revis, Denver Broncos, Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots, NFL, Randy Moss, Steve Gregory