So why is Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner facing a one-year suspension under the substance-abuse policy?
As we surmised earlier in the week, the league advanced Browner to Stage Three of the substance-abuse program based on drug tests the league tried to impose during the five years that Browner wasn’t employed by any NFL teams.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has the details. The problem arose because the letters sent by the league regarding drug tests and ensuing discipline to Browner went to the residence of Browner’s former girlfriend.
Per La Canfora, Browner had been tested roughly 200 times since returning to the league, and he recently had a positive test for marijuana. His status in Stage Three triggered a permanent banishment with the ability to apply for reinstatement after one year.
Browner’s appeal hearing concluded earlier this week, with a decision required “[w]ithin a reasonable time,” whatever that means. The possibility of litigation arising from the league’s imposition of discipline on a non-NFL player coupled with the recent defamation of Browner (and confidentiality breach) committed by the network the league owns gives him plenty of leverage to work out a resolution that would entail something like, for example, a suspension for the rest of the current regular season.
Given that Browner currently has a groin injury that is expected to sideline him for another month, he’d lose money but not playing time. And he’d have the issue behind him as the playoffs approach in January — and as free agency approaches in March.