On Tuesday night, the NFL announced that former Seahawks corner, Brandon Browner, has been reinstated and is now an unrestricted free agent. This unexpected move lifts a ban that would've been in place until December of 2014. As probably everyone here knows, Browner was suspended because of multiple failed drug tests over his career (the last, a small amount of marijuana). My questions for you are: what do you think he'll command on the open market? And should the Panthers try to sign him?
The reason I felt inclined to write a post (my first, actually) about Browner is that I think he fits our scheme and could help our secondary tremendously. At 6'4, the Panthers would finally have someone to cover the bigger receivers that have eaten us up over the past few years (see: Boldin, 136 yds). Browner also fits well because he is physical and hits like a load of bricks. If Captain is re-signed, Browner will give us a great 3-man rotation at corner, with Munnerlyn at his true position of nickelback. I also believe that his drug problems aren't really problems but rather careless mistakes that he hopefully knows to avoid in the future. Last, Browner is 29, going on 30, and will likely be searching for a team that can win it all before he retires. Given his age and drug testing history, I don't believe he'll command an outrageous contract.
Despite the reasons to be intrigued, several downsides exist. First, Browner could easily fall outside of our price range. With needs at LT, WR, FS, SS, and CB, the Panthers' current cap space of about $7 mil (20.1 - 13.1) will not get them very far. Also, Browner has a tendency to draw pass interference penalties and had the benefit of playing alongside the most talented defense this league has seen in a few years. Finally, Browner will carry his reputation for failed tests, and I'm not sure the Panthers would be okay with that.
So, do you guys think that pursuing Brandon Browner is feasible? If so, would you do it? Knowing Gettleman, he'll find a way to reduce Hardy's cap hit -- whether it's through a long-term deal or a tag-and-trade -- which may allow the team to sign a player of Browner's caliber.