MARCH 10, 6:59am: More than a month after his impending release was first reported, Browner has been cut by the Saints with a post-June 1 designation, tweets Howard Balzer. With $5.35MM in total dead money left on his contract, the Saints will carry $4.05MM of that total on their 2016 cap, with the remaining $1.3MM applied to 2017.
FEBRUARY 5, 11:40am: As expected, the Saints plan to release Browner, ESPN’s John Clayton confirms.
8:11am: The Saints appear set to part ways with Brandon Browner, according to the cornerback himself. Browner posted messages on Twitter and Instagram saying that he enjoyed and was appreciative of his time in New Orleans, suggesting that his stint with the club has come to an end.
“[You] got to take the good with the bad, sometimes treat the wins like losses,” Browner wrote on Twitter. “Next Chapter every good book has up and downs #farewellneworleans”
Coming off a Super Bowl win with the Patriots a year ago, Browner signed a three-year, $15MM contract with the Saints and became one of the team’s starting corners. However, he disappointed in his first – and potentially only – season in New Orleans, racking up penalties and struggling in coverage. Pro Football Focus rated him dead last in the league among 113 qualified cornerbacks.
If the Saints cut Browner in the coming weeks, they’ll have to eat a chunk of dead money still on his contract. Browner’s $2.75MM base salary for 2016 is fully guaranteed, and he has $2.6MM in prorated bonus money left on his deal after 2015. However, New Orleans will at least avoid paying him $2.25MM in 2016 roster bonuses, including a $750K bonus due on March 11. Overall, the club would reduce his ’16 cap hit by nearly $1MM.
Since Browner has five years of NFL experience, he won’t have to pass through waivers if and when the Saints release him, and he’d immediately be free to sign with any team. As for the Saints, they appear to have struck gold with former CFL cornerback Delvin Breaux, who had an excellent first year for the team in 2015, but they’ll be in the market for additional cornerback help this winter.
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