Brandon Browner

NFC Notes: Kaepernick, Ward, Saints

More is coming out about Colin Kaepernick‘s collusion lawsuit against the NFL. Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, recently shed some light about some of the points they will attempt to prove that collusion exists between the NFL owners in the latest episode of his Reasonable Doubt podcast. Geragos pointed out the need for a “smoking gun” that proves there is coordinated effort from owners from blocking his client from signing with a franchise. In response to a question about a potential email regarding the collusion from Roger Goodell, Geragos stated “there is very good reason to believe that that exists,” the lawyer said (transcription via Pro Football Talk). “The interesting thing will be when the discovery comes, and I expect the discovery to be very quickly.” Even with the confidence coming from the lawyer, the overall sentiment around the case is that collusion will be a difficult charge to prove, but it looks like Kaepernick and his team are serious about their lawsuit and will look far and wide to see if any hard evidence exists.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • New Buccaneers safety T.J. Ward is apparently frustrated with his part-time defensive role, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. The reporter passes along that the veteran defensive back is at his “wits end” in regards to his role on the team. Ward was not on the field during Tampa Bay’s fourth quarter collapse at the hands of the Bills. The 30 year-old expected to bring more physicality when he signed a one-year, $4MM deal with the team after he was cut by the Broncos in the preseason. Ward only has 11 total tackles on the year and looks to be on his way out of the rotation after what transpired today.
  • Saints linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha could be on the trading block after his deactivation from today’s contest vs. the Packers, Larry Holder of NOLA.com speculates (Twitter link). It’s a disappointing turn of events for the former 2015 third round pick, who was benched in favor of defensive lineman Al-Quadin Muhammad. However, despite Kikaha’s struggles, the Saints defense has turned the corner in recent weeks, getting another takeaway today, after notching five turnovers last Sunday.
  • In other Saints news, we have now learned that the team’s former veteran cornerback Brandon Browner was arrested for cocaine possession last May, reports Amos Moralle III of NOLA.com. Browner last appeared for the team in 2015, but was mostly ineffective with the team deciding to move on from the defensive back that following offseason.

Extra Points: Kap, Savage, Browner, Johnson

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is working out five days a week and is back to his 2013 weight, 230 pounds, as he awaits a potential NFL opportunity, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. Thanks partially (perhaps entirely) to his social activism, Kaepernick hasn’t garnered a single offer since he and the 49ers parted ways in March. While the 29-year-old would like to resume his career, he’s not saying it publicly because he worries that doing so would lead to further claims that he’s a distraction, Florio suggests.

More from around the game:

  • After insisting throughout the offseason that Tom Savage would be their starting quarterback in 2017, the Texans bailed on him just one half into a 29-7 Week 1 loss to Jacksonville in which their offensive line imploded. The Texans have since turned the reins over to first-round rookie Deshaun Watson, a decision Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, spoke with Florio about on Wednesday. As you’d expect, Schwartz isn’t pleased with the move. “I watched all 31 plays, because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half,” Schwartz said. “And I can’t figure out why he’s benching Tom. I went through every single play and I even went one step further. I asked two different NFL personnel people (or) coaches on two separate teams to evaluate and break down the film to see if I was missing something. He went 7 for 13 … 12 of the 13 balls touched the receiver’s hands. The only ball that didn’t was the strip-sack fumble that they called incomplete (upon replay). Seven were completions, five were drops” (all of Schwartz’s comments are available here via the Houston Chronicle’s Greg Rajan). Schwartz does have the backing of Pro Football Focus, which ranked Savage’s season-opening performance 15th among 31 signal-callers. Watson came in last.
  • Having not played in the NFL since his dreadful 2015 showing in New Orleans, free agent cornerback Brandon Browner is obviously facing an uphill battle to return to the league. The odds of the ex-Seahawks star making a comeback look even worse now, as Browner was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday on felony charges of making criminal threats to a woman, TMZ reports. The two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t drawn any known interest since the Seahawks released him in August 2016 (even after playing in the the Spring League this year), and that probably isn’t going to change.
  • The Cardinals are hoping to get running back David Johnson “back by Thanksgiving or Christmas,” coach Bruce Arians told SiriusXM. The initial word on Johnson’s wrist injury has been that he could be out for two to three months. Arians’ timetable seems to jibe with that.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Kellen Winslow, Ben Tate Join Spring League

The Spring League kicks off in April and it will feature some notable names looking to resurrect their football careers. Defensive end Greg Hardy, tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., cornerback Brandon Browner, and running back Ben Tate are among the players who have been confirmed as participants, according to a press release. Greg Hardy (vertical)

Winslow has not played in an NFL game since the 2013 season and we haven’t heard much from him since he worked out for the Packers last August. Tate, a former second-round pick, showed lots of promise in Houston but could not capitalize on a starting opportunity with the Browns in 2014. Hardy and Browner first committed to the league in early March.

The Spring League consists of four teams comprised of veteran free agents. The league will conduct practices and play six games from April 5 through April 26. Players who are currently on NFL rosters will not be eligible to participate.

The league has secured five quarterbacks thus far, including Chiefs 2011 fifth-round pick Ricky Stanzi and NFL practice squad journeyman McLeod Bethel-Thompson. At wide receiver, there’s former Ram Brandon Gibson, Jets 2014 fourth-round pick Jalen Saunders, and one-time Bills WR2 David Nelson. Former Jets defensive back Ellis Lankster and Texans 2013 third-round defensive tackle Sam Montgomery will also be suiting up for The Spring League next month.

The full list of players can be found below. In addition to those listed here, Pro Football Rumors has learned that another 30 players are expected to join prior to the start of training camp.

Quarterbacks

  • Hutson Mason
  • Ricky Stanzi
  • McLeod Bethel-Thompson
  • Zach Kline
  • Jeremy Cannon

Running backs

Wide receivers

  • Jalen Saunders
  • David Nelson
  • Kenzel Doe
  • Brandon Gibson
  • Daje’ Johnson
  • Gavin Lutman
  • Tyler McDonald
  • J.D. Woods
  • Sed Cunningham
  • Lawrence Smith
  • Terrance Lewis
  • Rashon Ceaser
  • Kendrick Wiggins

Read more

Hardy, Browner Commit To Spring League

Former NFL stars Greg Hardy and Brandon Browner have committed to play in the Spring League, according to its CEO, Brian Woods (via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com). The league, whose six-game season will take place from April 15-26, isn’t affiliated with the NFL. However, NFL scouts will be on hand to watch, so it could be a way for Hardy, Browner and other ex-pros to showcase their skills and perhaps return to football’s highest level.

Greg Hardy (vertical)

Once a top-caliber defensive end, Hardy’s stock began plummeting when he was found guilty in 2014 of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, though her decision not to testify against him led to the dropping of charges. Then a member of the Panthers, Hardy sat out all but one game that season after commissioner Roger Goodell placed him on the league’s exempt list.

Hardy joined the Cowboys as a free agent in 2015, but he served a four-game suspension to begin the year and was an off-field headache and public relations nightmare during his 12-game Dallas stint. Nobody signed Hardy last year as a result, and he was indicted on a felony count of cocaine possession in November. He then attempted to become a mixed martial artist last fall, but it didn’t take. Despite his myriad off-field issues, Hardy is certainly talented enough to play in the NFL, evidenced by his 40 sacks in 75 games.

Like Hardy, Browner has a past suspension on his resume (for substance abuse) and didn’t play at all in 2016. The defensive back did land a contract last offseason, but the Seahawks ultimately cut him in late August after his effort to move from cornerback to safety didn’t pan out.

Now 32, Browner, was a high-level defender in Seattle and New England from 2011-14, when he combined to start in all 45 appearances, intercept 11 passes and win two Super Bowls. However, he declined sharply as a Saint in 2015. While Browner started all 16 of the Saints’ games that season after inking a three-year, $15MM contract in free agency, he rated dead last in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 113 qualified corners and set the league’s penalty record. New Orleans subsequently cut Browner and he hasn’t played a meaningful snap since.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Open To Brandon Browner Return

The Seahawks brought their reunion with Brandon Browner to a close this week, but it’s possible that the two sides could get back together in the future. Browner could return to the team later on this year, coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times (on Twitter). Brandon Browner (vertical)

[RELATED: Seahawks Release Brandon Browner]

Carroll explained that the team simply “ran out of time” converting Browner to safety and that others just beat him out. Others, like Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell, pushed themselves ahead of Browner on the depth chart, leading to the Legion Of Boom OG’s release on Monday.

Of course, Carroll & Co. have a soft spot for Browner who broke out as a cornerback for Seattle in 2011, so a mid-season deal cannot be ruled out. However, one has to wonder how much Browner even has left in the tank if he was not good enough to make the cut down to 75.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Cutting CB Brandon Browner

The Seahawks are cutting cornerback Brandon Browner, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This offseason, Browner returned back to where he had his best success as a pro. Unfortunately, he could not regain his old form. Brandon Browner (vertical)

During his initial three-year run with the Seahawks, Browner started 36 games and winning a Super Bowl title during that time. In between his two stints in Seattle, Browner won a ring with the Patriots before inking a three-year, $15MM contract with the Saints and becoming one of the team’s starting corners. However, he disappointed in his 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. In March, the Saints cut their losses and released him.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office recently declined to move forward with assault charges against Browner stemming from an incident earlier this summer, so he will not be encumbered by legal issues as he seeks his next job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Browner Won’t Face Assault Charges

Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner will not face assault charges stemming from allegations that he for assaulted his child’s grandfather earlier this summer, according to TMZ Sports. In July, he was said to have gotten into an altercation with his child’s grandfather. However, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has declined to move forward with charges. Brandon Browner (vertical)

Browner, who played for Seattle from 2011-13, returned to the Seahawks this offseason on a one-year deal. During his initial three-year run with the Seahawks, Browner started 36 games and winning a Super Bowl title during that time. In between his two stints in Seattle, Browner won a ring with the Patriots before inking a three-year, $15MM contract with the Saints and becoming one of the team’s starting corners. However, he disappointed in his 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. In March, the Saints cut their losses and released him.

Now 32 years old, Browner is back where he had his best success as a pro, reuniting with his Legion of Boom compatriots Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor. Had Browner’s case moved forward, his future in Seattle would have been in jeopardy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Police Investigating Brandon Browner For Assault

Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner has been named in a police report by the father-in-law of Browner’s girlfriend, Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times reports. The man claims Browner assaulted him on Tuesday night.

The man claimed the 31-year-old cornerback assaulted him in the driveway of Browner’s Pomona, California, home, according to a police report. No charges have been filed yet, with the Pomona Police Department determining if enough evidence exists to justify a warrant for Browner’s arrest, Jenks reports.

Browner left the residence before police arrived, and the alleged victim refused medical treatment at the scene.

The veteran cornerback returned to the Seahawks this offseason after signing with the Saints in 2015. He endured a rough season in New Orleans after being part of two Super Bowl championship teams — the 2013 Seahawks and 2014 Patriots. Browner missed the 2013 playoffs because of an indefinite suspension due to the violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

The league reinstated the physical corner in March of 2014, however, Browner served a drug-related suspension to start the ’14 campaign. Browner is signed for a non-guaranteed $760K with the Seahawks but will count $4.05MM against the Saints’ cap this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Pats, Saints, Jets, Browns

There was a report Sunday stating that Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler‘s absence from voluntary OTAs pertained to his desire to land a new contract. That isn’t the case, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, who tweets that Butler will report to Gillette Stadium for OTAs this week. His arrival will come as welcome news to the Patriots, whose defense Butler became an integral part of last season. On the heels of serving as an unlikely Super Bowl XLIX hero in the Pats’ dramatic win over the Seahawks in February 2015, the 26-year-old Butler broke out in earnest during a 16-start campaign, totaling 67 tackles and two interceptions. Butler is now scheduled to rake in $600K in 2016 before becoming a restricted free agent.

More from around the NFL:

  • The Seahawks’ Brandon Browner spent 2015 as a member of the Saints, with whom he rated as Pro Football Focus’ worst qualifying corner (113th overall) and set the league’s single-season penalty record. Browner’s on-field troubles led the Saints to release him earlier this offseason, and now the 31-year-old has offered some choice words regarding the organization. Browner called the team “weak” on Instagram, and the defender said he took New Orleans’ $5MM and “ran with it” (per Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com). Browner, by the way, will return to the Big Easy this fall for an Oct. 30 matchup between the Seahawks and Saints.
  • With the Jets and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick still at loggerheads over a contract, Brian Costello of the New York Post offers a potential solution – a one-year, $12MM deal that’s fully guaranteed. The Jets are already willing to give Fitzpatrick that total in 2016, but they also want to lock him up for 2017 and ’18 at a combined $12MM more. A single-year pact wouldn’t be ideal for the Jets, concedes Costello, but it would hand them another season to evaluate Fitzpatrick and develop Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty behind him. Meanwhile, it would give Fitzpatrick an opportunity to build on the success he had in 2015 and try to garner a better multiyear offer than the one the Jets are currently presenting him.
  • The Browns announced several changes within their player personnel department Tuesday, awarding promotions to six members of their staff and hiring a new assistant director of scouting. Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal has a full rundown of the moves.
  • The Saints have hired Steve Malin and C.J. Leak as area scouts, tweets Mike Stratton of Inside The League. Malin was previously with the Giants for 15 seasons, while Leak worked for the Bills for eight years (via Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com).

Extra Points: Browner, Cowboys, Foster

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Thursday evening…

  • Brandon Browner told Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter) that returning to the Seahawks was a “no-brainer.” The veteran also acknowledged that he had received an offer from the Redskins.
  • Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones says the team has faith in Kellen Moore as the team’s No. 2 QB, Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram tweets. Jones’ comments indicate that the team will not be looking for outside help to support starter Tony Romo.
  • Free agent running back Arian Foster says he’s getting closer to being 100% healthy, though he says that he needs some more time before he can look like his old self. “I probably need another month to get where I am, the person everyone is use to seeing,” Foster told David Nuno of ABC13. “I can definitely play, but I need another month to be where I want to be and be at that Pro Bowl level I can be at.
  • Former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone is still in the hospital recovering from hands and hip surgeries following a weekend car crash, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson was operating the vehicle, and while cops said the 22-year-old had been drinking, sobriety tests proved that he was not impaired. Boone, 24, spent time with the Lions last season.