The big news from Tuesday was the announcement that Brandon Browner had been reinstated by the NFL. Browner was on an indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Browner did not contest the positive drug test, but rather felt he should not have been in the one strike and you're out phase of the program. While he was playing in the CFL, he missed mandated drug testing due to a previous failure. He was putting together a lawsuit, and it appears he has now settled his claim.
Danny Kelly from Field Gulls made a good point in his post about Browner's reinstatement. We don't know what kind of deal was cut to end any attempt at litigation. I would imagine there had to be some kind of deal, but we don't know. We'll wait and see on that because if he is suspended for any part of the start of the season, it could slow the market for him. If it's only one or two games, it would obviously be less of an issue than a month or more suspension.
Fooch's Update: Adam Schefter is reporting an early season suspension is part of the deal.
As soon as the news came out that he would be free and clear, people started inquiring about the 49ers approaching him. It's natural for that question to come up with Seahawks players, and even more so when it's at a position of need, as cornerback is for the 49ers.
I spoke with Danny to get some of his thoughts on Browner:
Browner is an extremely physical corner that uses the sideline well, and uses his punch at the snap to re-direct and control receivers at the line. He's a beast against the run, and when matched up against bigger receivers, can be very effective. He's more fluid than you'd expect a 6'4, 220 pound corner to be, but he's definitely not well suited to match up in man coverage with some of the smaller, shiftier, speedier receivers that some teams can throw at you. He can be susceptible to the double-move and at times he's been burnt deep.
That said, he played well in Seattle's system and certainly brings a physical and intimidating presence to the field as a cornerback. He's been known to pick fights and antagonize opposing receivers. He's not as good as Seattle's current starting corners at getting his head around to locate the football, and this is why he was called for interference pretty often in his first couple seasons with the team. That has been cleaned up some over the past year or so.
The 49ers cornerback situation is unsettled, in part because we don't know what the plan is with Carlos Rogers. I've assumed the team would cut him, but they could end up trying to work out a restructured deal. Given the current market I could see Rogers fighting that and ending up released, but I can't tell for sure at this point.
If they don't release Rogers, at most I see them returning one of Eric Wright or Perrish Cox, and then focusing on the draft. If they release Rogers, I think we again see one of Wright or Cox, and then potentially something beyond that. But as always, it will depend on what the market brings with Browner.