According to Mike Garafolo, Brandon Browner had his hearing over a one-year suspension today. He is appealing the decision.
Now it’s a waiting game.
Details are sparse on this case, and I don’t see the value in speculating. All we know is this recent suspension isn’t a PED issue, it’s substance abuse.
When this story broke Mike Silver suggested the Seahawks were done with Browner. He was finished in Seattle.
That may well prove to be true.
Or maybe not.
Think of it this way. There’s no definite date set for a decision to be made on Browner’s appeal. The substance abuse policy says a decision must be reached within a ‘reasonable time’.
There’s a supportive vibe there. The message is more about support for both Browner and Walter Thurmond (also serving a suspension). Both players would be allowed in the facility. They weren’t going to relinquish responsibility and simply move on.
So what if Browner’s appeal is successful?
By supporting the player, perhaps they hope such loyalty pays off. It’s maybe a cynical way of viewing things, but the NFL is a business. The Seahawks have to treat it as such.
A cornerback who turns 30 before the 2014 season probably couldn’t expect mega-bucks in free agency anyway. All the controversy and reporting on this recent suspension won’t help.
The risk of further suspensions will also add to a major decrease in value.
Back a player through a bad patch and you might be able to get another year or two at a heavily discounted price.
If his appeal is successful. If.
Thurmond is in a similar position. He’ll see his value suffer a hit because of his four game suspension. Yet what benefit is there in burning bridges with a guy who, in fairness, has played well this year?
The Seahawks appear to be a very close locker room. Keeping things that way won’t hurt when they go into the negotiating room. That will ring true with both Browner and Thurmond — who is also a free agent in 2014.
Alternatively you could argue they don’t deserve any support. Silver’s words might prove true. If Browner is suspended that decision is made for the team. If he’s cleared, why wouldn’t you consider a new contract? At the right price?
In Thurmond’s case, it could be argued he’s risked the success of the team with what may or may not be a selfish act. Again, we don’t have the necessary details to make that kind of judgement. We can only really speculate.
I’ll say it again, the NFL is a business. Browner and Thurmond — re-signed at a substantial discount — helps Seattle.
There’s no lack of detail there. That’s a fact.
With cap issues on the horizon next year, nothing can be ruled out. Everything should remain on the table. Including Browner and Thurmond signing new deals.
It’s also worth noting — there aren’t any obvious ‘Seahawks’ corners in this draft. I can’t think of a single one currently being touted as an early pick. But 6-4 corners with Browner’s speed aren’t very common.
And one final note on this — keep an eye on Byron Maxwell’s performance over the next few weeks. He has the talent. He can make this a moot point by claiming this job for himself. That’s what true competion is all about.
Remember — Richard Sherman didn’t walk into the team. He only got a chance to start when Thurmond was injured in 2011. This feels like a big opportunity for Maxwell.