Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner is the latest player on the team to receive a suspension for violating either the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy or substance-abuse policy, but it looks like he could be getting ready to fight the suspension as more information comes out.
There have been rumors swirling that Browner’s team continues to dig into the situation and that there will be a number of details that will emerge in the coming days that will clear Browner’s name.
Browner is currently suspended one-year for violating the substance-abuse policy, but there seems to be much more to the story.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk took a look at the Browner case and discovered what appears to be an unfair rule, which could lead to a legal process playing out or Browner’s suspension being overturned.
When players are cut by NFL teams, they remain subject to the testing requirements of the substance-abuse policy. If they don’t show for the tests (after all, they’re no longer NFL employees), they become subject to the various steps and stages of the substance-abuse program.
Browner played for the Broncos in 2005. Cut in 2006, Browner surfaced the following year in the CFL. Unless Browner violated the substance-abuse policy enough times in one-plus year with the Broncos to land in Stage Three, there’s a chance he fell victim to the unfair expectation that players who have been dumped by the NFL still have to submit to NFL-implemented drug tests, and that he returned to the NFL in 2011 with a lifetime membership in Stage Three.
If that’s what happened with Browner — if he landed in Stage Three because he didn’t show up for drug tests when he wasn’t an NFL employee — his suspension needs to be scrapped. And if the NFL won’t reverse the suspension, Browner needs to load up the legal cannon and aim it at anyone and everyone.
If what Florio is saying is correct, then Browner does indeed need to continue challenging the ruling.
It is completely unfair to expect a player to continue showing up and submitting to drug tests when he is not a member of an NFL roster or an NFL employee for that matter, so the NFL needs to review their current rule and ensure they are doing what is the best for their players.