The curious case of Brandon Browner has apparently come to a close, after the Seattle Seahawks cornerback tweeted on Tuesday that the NFL has granted his reinstatement to the league. Browner had been suspended indefinitely in November for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. As a Stage 3 offender in the NFL’s substance abuse program, Browner faced a suspension that would keep him out for at least one year, at which point he could apply for reinstatement.
However, just days after the suspension was announced, reports began to trickle out that Browner was a victim of some wonky testing policies implemented by the NFL. While Browner never denied testing positive this season, he maintained his position that something was wrong with the NFL’s testing policies. After a few bluffs were called, the NFL stood pat on their initial decision, which would have killed any chance of Browner playing for a team next season (their counter offer had been a reduced suspension ending in October).
Browner’s next course of action was to file a lawsuit with the league, which he planned to do this week. Funny how quickly things move along when someone dangles a rock-solid case against you:
I received wonderful news today. The NFL has reinstated me, and I now have the opportunity to prove to the fans and my teammates how important this sport is to me. I realize now more than ever that being part of the NFL is not a right, but a privilege. I am grateful that Commissioner Goodell and my agent were able to resolve this issue in a positive, productive manner so I can continue my career, provide for my family, and help my team win a Super Bowl. Thank you to all who have gone out of their way to show their support. I will live up to your expectations of me.
The Seahawks aren’t likely to re-sign Browner for next season, and he wasn’t able to travel to New York City for the Super Bowl, but he did walk away with a Super Bowl ring, a playoff bonus, and a chance to compete for an NFL roster spot next season as a consolation prize.