What can Browner do for Patriots?

What can Browner do for Patriots?
March 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
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Brandon Browner is becoming a piece of the furniture down in Foxboro. Still no deal, though.
 
Browner’s fate got murky Thursday night when his long-lasting visit with the Patriots sparked his teammates to begin assuming Browner was joining the team.
 
Browner’s role in feeding that notion is unknown.
 
Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, was pissed that that perception got out because Schaffer had visits lined up elsewhere. Like Washington, where Browner is supposed to be headed on Friday.
 
It looks bad for Schaffer if he promises a visit and can’t deliver his client to the facility. And if the impression is out that Browner wants to be a Patriot, the prospective teams don’t want to serve merely as stalking horses to drive up the price on the Patriots. It’s a waste of their time.
 
So that’s an effort at explaining Schaffer’s agitation.  
 
Which, in the end, is about as relevant as my agitation with the winter cold-snap. What matters is what Browner can do for the Patriots if he ultimately signs.
 
He is the epitome of a buy-low, sell-high target. Browner is – as Aqib Talib was in November of 2012 when the Patriots dealt for him – on suspension.
 
The backstory on that isn’t as nefarious as the suspension would make it seem.
 
While Browner was in the CFL in 2006 and 2007, he missed a series of NFL drug tests he says he never got notification of.
 
When Browner came back to the league in 2011, he was in Stage 3 of the substance abuse program. And when, after a reported 200 tests, Browner came back with marijuana in his system, he was suspended indefinitely.
 
Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com has all the details in this December story.
 
Meanwhile, Browner and Schaffer appealed and the suspension was turned into a four-game stretch.
 
So, if the Patriots sign him, they won’t be able to use him until October.
 
The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is one of the league’s biggest corners and he would dwarf the non-Revis corners the Patriots have on their roster – Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington.
 
That means he’d bring a different element against the crop of large outside targets the Patriots will be facing in 2014 (Eric Decker, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, etc.).
 
He would also bring – in a sub-defense – potentially the kind of player who could play in the middle of the field as a Big Nickel player. He excels in press coverage which makes sense. If a big corner gets his hands on a receiver, he can guide him and screw up timing. If he gets beat at the line, he’s not going to have the speed to turn and run as quickly as smallish defensive backs because his height will make change of direction a little slower.
 
In three seasons with the Seahawks, Browner played just 36 games. He made 117 tackles and had 10 picks. Groin and hamstring injuries in addition to the suspension led to him playing just eight games in 2013.
 
Browner would bring the Patriots something they didn’t have in 2013 which showed up quite a bit in the AFC Championship game. Size. It’s an element the Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll put a premium on.