Last year, Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner dropped an appeal of a four-game suspension at a time when Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was facing a four-game suspension. The thinking at the time was that Browner’s decision ensured that the Seahawks wouldn’t have to play a game with both players missing.
This year, Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond has opted to drop his appeal of a four-game suspension. On the surface, it makes sense, given that the Seahawks would prefer to lose Thurmond for the final month of the regular season instead of the only month of the postseason. But with Browner expected to miss another four to six weeks with a groin injury and Thurmond starting in his absence, there’s an argument to be made that it’s better to have Thurmond around until Browner can come back.
As we understand it, the decision came from a desire to get the suspension served before the postseason, regardless of Browner’s absence.
It’s still a bit odd that the Seahawks and Thurmond opted to take the medicine now, given that five games remain in the regular season and the next one entails a visit from the Saints. Thurmond could have, and arguably should have, dropped the appeal after the game against the Saints.
It’s also good for Thurmond personally to serve the suspension now. He’s due to become a free agent after the season. If a four-game suspension had been pending in the offseason, Thurmond would have had a much harder time getting paid.
Under this approach, Thurmond will take the suspension, lose $148,000 in base salary, possibly forfeit some signing bonus money from his fourth-round rookie contract, and then play in January, when 20 teams and counting will be home preparing their shopping lists for the coming free-agency spending spree.