Brandon Browner’s played 20 games the past two seasons and he won’t play his first game for the Patriots until Week 5 thanks to a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension – initially a one-year hitch – was reduced on appeal because it’s one of the most convoluted cases you could find. It revolves around the fact Browner didn’t make his NFL debut until 2011 when he was 27. Cut by the Broncos in 2006, Browner went to the CFL. And he didn’t keep up with the NFL’s drug testing program, claiming he didn’t know he was supposed to. So the league advanced him to Stage 3 for failure to comply.
Let’s get off the suspension stuff though, and consider Browner has just one NFL season – 2011 – in which he played 16 games and excelled, being named to the Pro Bowl. He’s 6-foot-4, 221 pounds and could be a revolutionary addition to the Patriots secondary previously stocked with sawed-off waterbugs at the corner position. But between the suspension, the adjustment to a new defense, a new coaching staff, a new franchise and a different coast (he’s from California and went to Oregon State before going to the CFL and playing three seasons in Seattle), there are a lot of variables to weigh when projecting how Browner will do.