Brandon Browner is not having a particular good year. He did get a Super Bowl ring from the Seattle Seahawks, but now it appears that he will be spending his time with lawyers rather than players and coaches.
According to reports, Browner is going to sue the NFL in Federal court. Fans are familiar with the frustrating history of suspensions due to violations of the substance-abuse policy and the performance-enhancing drugs policy. Now, this goes to court.
Lest this turn into a confusing discussion of legal jargon, the general gist of the lawsuit appears to focus on whether Browner’s suspension was in step with the league policy and whether the policy is actually legal in terms of employment law. The bottom line is that Browner (obviously) wants to play, and wants the NFL to let him become a free agent by March 11 so that he can sign with a team.
Despite all of this baggage, there may be a team out there willing to sign Browner to a contract. He just needs to get eligible first.
Realistically, the Seahawks are not going to bring Browner back regardless of how this lawsuit goes. Perhaps he becomes an injury replacement at some point, but the physical corner will turn 30 in August. The Seahawks clearly did just fine without him down the stretch, and given his suspension history he could pose an ongoing risk.
Browner has certainly been an appreciated player over the last few years, but this has been a sad way for him to end his Seahawks career. Given the power of the NFL, it may be that this does not work out for Mr. Browner and his legal team.
Best wishes, Mr. Browner. Enjoy your ring.