And just like that, Brandon Browner has been reinstated by the National Football League. Just when it seemed like Browner and the NFL were headed to court, the former Seattle Seahawks cornerback tweeted that he has been cleared to sign with a team when free agency opens on March 11.
Might he return to the Emerald City?
Anything is possible, and perhaps Browner would consider taking less money in order to return. However, there are barriers to such a possibility.
Age is obviously a concern. Browner can still play, but he will turn 30 in August. It is likely that Browner will be looking for a multi-year contract rather than a one-year deal with a hometown discount. The Seahawks may be hesitant to make a length commitment. If another team is willing to sign Browner to a multi-year deal, it is unlikely that the Seahawks would get into a bidding war.
There is also a question of whether the Seahawks would want Browner back after all of this drama. He may have been reinstated by the league, but the ‘Hawks may not want to risk dealing with issues in the future.
Browner may not fit into Seattle’s ongoing philosophy of developing youth and building an aggressive team through the draft. Players like Red Bryant and Sidney Rice have already been released. Based on Browner’s age and history, he might fit the profile of a player that would not be brought back anyway.
The bottom line is that the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, and they did it without Brandon Browner. Perhaps he comes back as a veteran backup, but it is doubtful that he would want to play that role. He could return to Seattle, but somehow that seems to be an unlikely scenario.