Posted December 19, 2013

Seahawks CB Brandon Browner suspended indefinitely for violations of the NFL’s drug policy

Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Browner has most likely played his last down for the Seahawks. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Brandon Browner has most likely played his last down for the Seahawks. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

RENTON, Wash. — The NFL suspended Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner indefinitely on Wednesday for violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. Browner had first been suspended in late November, and was facing a possible year-long suspension as a Stage 3 offender in the NFL’s drug program. Browner was suspended four games late in the 2012 season for a violation of the league’s policies against performance-enhancing substances, which is separate from the NFL’s drug policy. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the suspension.

The Seahawks confirmed Browner’s suspension in a statement.

“I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years,” Browner said via Twitter after the suspension was announced. “I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12’s for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful. Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to. Go Hawks!!!”

Peter Shaffer, Browner’s agent, was more succinct about his client’s legal remedies, telling Pro Football Talk by phone that he and Browner would “sue the living daylights out of the league” if whatever administrative remedies available are unsuccessfully exhausted.

Browner’s suspension is a more complicated story than is typical. When he first came into the league in 2005, he failed a drug test while in the Denver Broncos’ employ. The Broncos released him in 2006. After that, according to a source familiar with the situation, Browner ran low on money and was sleeping on friends’ couches to stay solvent while he waited for another shot at pro football. He was automatically placed in Stage 3 of the program because he missed multiple notifications for drug tests when his cell phone service apparently lapsed. Browner played with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League from 2006 through 2010, and maintained his Stage 3 status when he returned to the NFL with the Seahawks in 2011.

Browner passed multiple tests per week from 2011 through 2013 without a hitch, but failed another non-PED test recently, and that tripped the year-long suspension. Had he not missed those notifications years ago, he would face a few missed game checks at best, and a four-game suspension at worst. Browner’s appeal concluded in late November, and the Seahawks had been awaiting a result for almost a month.

At his appeal, Browner claimed that he never received any notifications (which the league said existed in writing), and that he missed drug tests when he was not in the league. FOX Sports recently reported that Browner turned down a deal that would have reduced his suspension.

Browner is a pending free agent, and it is not known when he would be allowed to return to the league (per the suspension, he can’t apply for re-instatement for a year), but it probably won’t be with the Seahawks for a number of reasons. The 29-year-old’s play had declined this season, and he was sharing reps with Walter Thurmond when Thurmond was suspended four games in late November for his own violation of the league’s drug policy. Thurmond’s suspension will end in time for Seattle’s Week 17 game against the St. Louis Rams.

In addition, third-year man Byron Maxwell has excelled while subbing for Browner and Thurmond opposite Richard Sherman. Last Sunday in Seattle’s 23-0 win over the New York Giants, Maxwell picked off two passes, and he’s performed at a very high level when asked. Per Pro Football Focus, in 243 coverage snaps this season, Maxwell has allowed just one touchdown pass to three interceptions, and he’s kept opposing quarterbacks to a 45.0 passer rating, the best mark among all of Seattle’s cornerbacks this season.

“Byron has done a great job,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. “He’s just made it through and he’s done a great job of playing. That Wally Pipp story comes to life sometimes, and I’m thrilled about what Byron has done. He’s been such an impact player for us and we had the opportunity to wait it out and see what was going on. We’ve been very fortunate with the way it’s turned out so far.”

114 comments
dholiday232
dholiday232

too bad he didn't include a brain enhancer.

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

Browner falls into the category "Tons of talent, no brains".

vman73
vman73

ALL THESE SEAHAWKS HATER ARE JUST UPSET BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING OUT PLAYED!!!!! QUIT HATIN AND START CONGRATULATIN........ 

Funkmaster23
Funkmaster23

Sue the league? That's a laugh! What could you possibly say? How about "My drug addicted client is a victim of racism and that's what drove him to take those performance enhancing substances." Folks, playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right! I think that the Seahawks' entire defense is hopped up on coke or something and I think that the NFL should drug test all of them before each game. Pete Carroll often looks like he's on drugs too. Maybe he's their dealer! 

A.F.Davis
A.F.Davis

Seattle's whole defensive backfield has tested positive for PED's & Recreational Drugs!  The PED use should be dealt with harshly, but as for the recreational drugs...right or wrong...the NFL should take a more lenient stance on that because I have a notion that 50% to 75% of the NFL workforce partakes in some kind of recreational drug use, be it pot, painkillers, adderall, and so on and so forth.


Put it plainly, the NFL can't afford to have the majority of their star players getting suspended for recreation, or else they will start to resemble something like the CFL or Arena League on the field!

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

Juice again or narco?  The NFL should ALWAYS IMO let the public know what these guys are using.

x72
x72

The Seattle SuckHawks

Jed1
Jed1

What a slimey organization. Pete Carroll working there makes a lot of sense.

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

Sounds like the entire defensive back field is some PED/recreational suspension waiting to happen. Not surprising with a Pete team - why play within the rules when it's some much easier to win by cheating. It's not like the NFL or the NCAA really takes an interest anyway.

George
George

Is the whole sea-hen team stoned?

Mike26
Mike26

Ways to stay out of trouble with the NFL:

1.  Stop taking illegal drugs

2.  Don't hit defenseless players


Obviously, these choices are FAR too difficult for these Seahawks players - either they're too selfish, too stupid, or a mix of both.  ZERO SYMPATHY for these morons.

davidhd
davidhd

The funny thing is that Seattle is better off with Maxwell at CB than either Browner or Thurmond, and they don't have to pay him as much either. When Thurmond comes back, they can play him and Maxwell, or they can play Jeremy Lane and Maxwell. All of Seattle's CBs are good enough to start on other teams.

JamesJoyce
JamesJoyce

Oops.. I tripped and fell on a crack pipe - surely that doesn't count.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Typical Shehawk crack smoker. Ban the entire team and trow Petey out of the league for good.

Thomas Baker
Thomas Baker

Screw the NFL and the NFLPA I'm done with both of them.

ThomasWinslow
ThomasWinslow

I'm so tired of reading these factually inaccurate reactions by fans of the NFL. So I decided that it was important to break this specific incident down by both legal and contractual terms as outlined by the NFLPA.

All information has been reported as factual and please research it for yourself.

1. Browner failed a (non-PED) test while with the Broncos. (Phase 1)

2. Browner left the league (CFL) for several years. He was sent phone calls and letters of his testing requirements, but failed to respond to the test. Thrusting him into Phase 2 of the NFLPA agreement for substance abuse testing. His argument is he had no phone and was not sent any letters by certified mail. (Cheap and poor legal standards by the NFL)

This is clearly the most obvious obstacle for the NFL. A non-employee is required to be subjected to test? I think this is the biggest hurdle for the NFL. Imagine you "Joe Truck Driver" test me all day long when I'm employed. But you just laid me off and you expect me to show up for a test and not get paid? Well I've got a question with that and so would the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Fast forward to 2013, and now Browner has passed over 200 drug (non-ped) test in 3+ years and bam be gets 'popped' for a (non-ped) marijuana test.

The obvious question is, should he be tested for 3 years as a non-employee and playing for the competition? Not to mention, while he was in Canada there were no reports of violations. That's pretty much it.

Based on my researched information he should be placed in phase 2 of the NFLPA and nothing less or more. End of argument! Now with the NFL placing him in phase 3. There are so many problems with the "non-profit arm" of the NFL exchanging information with the "profited side" (Mike Silver). Now look at the article above and who is the reporting party? Not Silver? I wonder why?. Silver was wrong on at least 3 points in that original article.

I personally see Browner getting a huge payday from the NFL. Not only the missed salary but I think he is worth 5 million a year for 3 years. By that time Browner is 33ish. By my account the NFL owes him around 15mil on income and expected income. This will be a game changer for the NFL. FYI Weed does not = PED!

Mech
Mech

@NFL_MadnessSame category you fall into ,,,without the "tons of talent".

Mech
Mech

@Funkmaster23The ignorance displayed in your post is palpable. Browner was suspended for MJ not a PED. MJ is legal in Washington State but he knew it was an illegal drug in the NFL. Never the less, Browner was only suspended because he had missed a drug test,,when he was NOT in the league and he was never notified. That missed test pushed him from what would have been a minor infraction into a full suspension, something the league cannot justify. Seattle only leads the league because they include Richard Sherman's suspension which was overturned, if you drop that one then Seattle is tied with Denver and the NY giants for four supspensions over the least three years. Your criticism is because your team got its butt kicked by Seattle, something most of the NFL teams can say,,, get a life troll.

gsxrs
gsxrs

@A.F.Davis, hey retard, how about dangerous felons that run around driving drunk with illegal automatic weapons and DRUGS in their vehicles?


when is the last time they tested the FELON?  yea right, never! don't tell me the gangster drives around drunk with illegal weapons and drugs in his vehicle and he is using none of them..


laughable are those whiners, NFL is the biggest farce in sports, they allow a convicted felon found driuving drunk with illegal weapons to play in the NFL?


guess you have to murder someone to get suspended? or drink muscle milk, move to Canada?


hilarious how lame this league is dood you fit right in, a full year later they realize he didnt take his pee test? um OK...


lol the league looking for a way to hurt the Seahawks... laughable, get with me after the Superbowl tell me how that's workin out for ya...


MORONS

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

@A.F.DavisThey will never take a lenient stance.  A drug is a drug until you go to Denver.

Mike26
Mike26

@A.F.Davis Illegal is illegal.  Pot is illegal in 48 states and it's going to be a long time until it's not.  And by the way, the NFLPA fully agreed to pot being considered illegal in terms of the CBA too - so the NFL has no business being lenient at all towards these "recreational" drugs.

JeanClaudeRobinson
JeanClaudeRobinson

@A.F.Davis look at the product on the field now, with the penalties and how they can hit the players now it resembles pee-wee football

JeffDowdy
JeffDowdy

@x72 Nice that you were able to take time away from your Jr. High classes to make such an intelligent comment.

nortran11
nortran11

@Jed1Yeah, that's right...cause Pete Carroll is the ONLY coach to ever cheat in college, right? Last time I checked, the Seahawks have NEVER had a coach suspended for an entire year for paying bounties to defensive players. The Seahawks have NEVER lost draft picks for filming opponents. Get a grip on reality loser.

gsxrs
gsxrs

@Mike26really, wow a rocket surgeon a fan of the whiners, imagine that!


so what do you say about driving around town drunk, illegal drugs in your car and illegal firearms in your trunk? that cool?


but a false positive or being in the room after someone smoked weed in it is what a suspendable action?


no wonder this league is going to the pot, look at the tools it attracts

BarkinMoon
BarkinMoon

@Mike26 Those drugs he took - because we are talking drug policy not performance enhancement policy - are LEGAL in the state of washington...  take your righteious idiocratic judgement elsewhere.

davidhd
davidhd

@Richard--Ramirez Says a jealous fan of another team. The Seahawks have had more suspensions than other teams lately, but each one had a different set of circumstances, and none of them resulted from "Petey" being a bad coach. He's not handing out PEDs or marijuana in the locker room. This is all stuff players have done, on their own, while away from coaches and trainers. Also, this issue with Browner and Thurmond, this season, has to do with smoking weed, which is totally unrelated to the small handful of PED suspensions for players over the last two years. Neither issue has anything to do with the GM or coach. The issue is that players are selfish, and they do things that are harmful to the team in order to get an edge or a high.

Mike26
Mike26

@Thomas Baker Awww, somebody's sad that his team's players aren't smart enough to avoid drug suspensions.......

gsxrs
gsxrs

@ThomasWinslowlol at this moron claiming he is clear things up with "factual" evidence... hilarious


so there Einstein, do you have PROOF browner was notofied he still needed to test, like a copy of the certified and notorized letter?


yea I didn’t think so cuz there isnt one, nothing of the sort, NFL dropped the ball on that and that is why they are getting sued, do you honestly think an attorney would take on the NFL if the NFL could provide PROOF they notified him?



people and businesses are sued daily cuz they thought they could say or just send things by regular mail and they lose, its why they came up with "Certified letters" and "notary" you walk in, have it notorized and sent by the same business and they keep a copy of what was sent with them.. if the letter was signed for you were legally "notified"


so with all your proof so have a copy of the origional letter, the notary? the confirmed certified pick up?


yea I didint think so but thanks for clearing this up for us.. you;re a real sport


as for me I'll let the US supreme court decide, not some paid minion, so on the count of 3, GFY!


one,

 two,

  three...


Mike26
Mike26

@ThomasWinslow Well-written but not fully applicable.  Once in the NFL drug program, the Collective Bargaining Agreement CLEARLY states that should he want to play in the NFL on a current or future basis then he must be subjected to ongoing testing whether he's an active player or not.  He does NOT have choice to leave for a few years and then come back and expect to be embraced with open arms.  There are consequences for actions - and Browner is receiving them now.

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

@ThomasWinslow  I laughed at the:  "End of argument!".  OK, buddy, I guess the rest of us have to take you opinion as Gospel and shut up now.   BTW, weed is prohibited by the CBA.  So not does the league not want players smoking but the NFLPA doesn't want the players smoking it either.

matt37
matt37

@ThomasWinslow It's part of the CBA.  No one said he had to play for the NFL but if he is going to, he is subject to the same negotiated, agreed upon rules that everyone else has to follow.  Rules, by the way, which 99% of players have no problems abiding by.

FYI-weed is a PED in the sense that it allows players to recuperate and deal with pain.

gsxrs
gsxrs

@Mech@Funkmaster23flunk master is just bitter cuz you nailed it, whiners get their butt stomped into the turf at the woodshed.. lol flunkmaster, welp the officials made sure your team made it to the nfc title game, you gonna fire Kapp if they lose?

hilarious are those whiner fans

Jed1
Jed1

@nortran11 @Jed1  Okay, so they’re incredibly slimy, but not the slimiest. 

You win. Have fun with that.

Funkmaster23
Funkmaster23

@BarkinMoon @Mike26 Drugs are drugs. It's that simple. And performance enhancing drugs should be dealt with even harder than something like pot which a performance de-hancing drug. If the opposing players are on pot or drunk, why would any other teams care? It would just make it easier to beat them. But being on performance enhancing drugs is cheating. 


And state laws  don't mean squat when it comes to what these players agreed upon when signing their NFL contracts. And besides, they travel all around the country, and when you travel to other states (even counties), you have to abide by the local laws and ordinances. Have you not noticed the vast differences in drug and gun laws all around our country? Can a guy from Texas bring a gun to NYC and wear it on his hip just because he's from a state with open carry laws? No. Maybe you should try sneaking some of that good Seattle weed from Sea-Tac to New York's JFK. And if you get caught, you can just say that it's OK because it's legal in the state of Washington. Yea, see if that works! lol

Mike26
Mike26

@BarkinMoon @Mike26 You don't get outside of Washington much, huh?  My point whistled right over your head - but SEC down below understood it easily on his first try.

SupplyingEventualConvicts
SupplyingEventualConvicts

@BarkinMoon @Mike26 and yet are banned by his profession, which is Mike's point... the guy flouted his employer's policy and was hit with a ban for repeat offenses (note that most jobs you don't even get 1 chance to screw up)

gsxrs
gsxrs

@davidhd@Richard--Ramirezwhat an IDIOT, Ramirez, say you aren’t south of the border are you?


just checking but yea with a name like that driving around with illegal fireams and drugs in your vehicle while you're drunk is totally acceptable right?


why REAL Americans don’t want Hispanic trash like yourself in their country, instead of sending that money back home why dont you save up to buy a ticket?

FOR YOURSELF!

Will10
Will10

Clearly mike26 is the man

Mike26
Mike26

@BarkinMoon @ThomasWinslow Nope.  You decided just to skip reading my post and post your mantra - a mantra that doesn't apply here AT ALL.  But hey, to each his own.

Ryan19
Ryan19

@matt37 @ThomasWinslow Just because it is in the CBA, that does not make it legal.  Browner will sue and there is a very good chance that a court will find that this part of the CBA is non-enforceable.  Your belief that it is okay just because it is in the CBA is completely laughable.  As are the other ignorant comments you have posted here.  

ThomasWinslow
ThomasWinslow

In the CBA it falls under the Non-PED side of banned substances. So they have already agreed that it is non-performance enhancing drug.

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@matt37@ThomasWinslow I don't think you understand what Pot does to the body. I've never heard of anyone allowing you to recuperate any faster from an injury versus without. 

gsxrs
gsxrs

@Jed1@nortran11listen to the whiner, um, you have a convicted felon who was arrested while driving around drunk with automatic weapons and illegal drugs in his vehicle..


for all you know it was a false positive or he was in a room where someone was smoking, it is legal in that state, but your boy with the automatic weapons and drugs driving drunk, what a tool, you 2 should date..


no way a convicted felon should be playing in the NFL, no way!



just watch this bias hypocrite league will vote him into the HOF and have the officials insure he gets a ring to boot..

not very, transparent! is it?

Mike26
Mike26

@Will10 Nice you could join - would you like to pacify the upset man too?

Mike26
Mike26

@BarkinMoon @Mike26 @Ryan19 @matt37 @ThomasWinslow Commercial truck drivers can't smoke pot; commercial machinery operators can't use pot; there are LOT of folks IN WASHINGTON that will lose their jobs if they smoke pot.  So don't you think that a player whose CBA covers ALL 50 STATES should be smart enough to avoid it while he's earning money in a limited career span?  People with common sense do.

Mike26
Mike26

@Ryan19 @matt37 @ThomasWinslow Ha!  You don't understand how CBA's work across state lines.  He CHOSE to play in the NFL; he CHOSE to continue using illegal substances; he WILL not win in court.

jtstaley88
jtstaley88

@RichLGerhold @matt37 @ThomasWinslow He definitely does not understand the effects of marijuana. Not only is it not performance enhancing, it is performance impairing. This is a fact established by hundreds if not thousands of controlled studies. If I were a paid athlete, I would want all of my opponents to smoke pot, preferably right before the game. If I employed an athlete, I would consider use a fireable offense.