With Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman fighting his four-game suspension for violation of the league’s policy against steroids and related substances, the team’s other starter at the position has opted to take his medicine for allegedly taking medicine that he shouldn’t have taken. Allegedly.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Brandon Browner decided that he couldn’t win the appeal, given the procedures to which the league and the NFLPA have agreed regarding drug testing. Despite concerns regarding the collection process, the rules that apply to internal appeals make it difficult if not impossible to prevail.
So even if Browner didn’t knowingly or unknowingly ingest a substance contain amphetamines — or even if he didn’t actually consume a substance containing amphetamines — he produced a sample that generated a positive result for amphetamines. Even if it was a false positive or a bad sample or any other irregularity, Browner will miss four games, eventually.
Of course, it would have been somewhat cheaper for Browner to fight. With a base salary of $465,000, he’ll lose $27,352 per week for each of the final four games of the 2012 regular season. Sherman, who earns the same base salary, will lose only $20,000 if he misses a wild-card game — and only $22,000 if he misses the division round.
If any of Sherman’s suspension extends into 2013, when Browner and Sherman will each be earning $555,000 in base pay, the suspension will cost $32,647 per week.
The other reality is that, with Browner’s suspension starting now, he’ll be back for the first playoff game. Sherman, barring an unlikely victory on appeal, will miss at least one playoff game. But the good news is that the team won’t be without both players for any postseason game.
And it would be naive to think that the team had no role in suggesting this approach or encouraging it. Without both starting corners, the Seahawks’ chances of winning their first playoff game would have been significantly lower.