|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
A day after pulling off a deal to bring Revis Island to New England, the Patriots continued to add to their defense by signing former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner. In his three-year career Browner has been one of the top cornerbacks in the league, with 10 interceptions over that span. His addition, combined with the arrival of Darrelle Revis, means that the Patriots are serious about shoring up their defense and making a title run on a rapidly closing window. While contract details are still emerging, the deal is reportedly for three years and a maximum of $17 million. Once more details surface it will be easier to determine the cap hit.
Though this deal seems to be a boon for Belichick and the Patriots, it comes with a couple issues. Browner is scheduled to be suspended for the first four games of the season (a suspension which also included two regular season games and the playoffs in 2013). He earned the suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Browner missing the first four games might be aggravating to start next year, but the Patriots likely view that the last four games and the playoffs are more important than the first four.
This deal seems to be a solid one for the Patriots as it shows their commitment to solidify the defense. How great the deal actually is will be better understood when the exact details of the deal come in. At the moment the deal would have a cap hit of $5.6 million; if there are any team or player options, though, then it could possibly be lower. Browner should be a great addition for the Patriots, and possibly points to the impending departure of fan favorite Vince Wilfork.