Remember Brandon Browner? Before he got into trouble with his drug tests, a lot of people around the NFL thought he was even better than the now “legendary” Richard Sherman. However he was given a one year ban back in November, which made everybody forget about his existence. But he has been reinstated by the league, provided he serves a four game suspension to start the year.
Browner is a free agent, and now we can begin asking, who will look to acquire him for the 2014 season? I may be in the minority here, but I want the Pats to take a look at the former Buckeye. He showed back in 2011-12 that he can play great press coverage, and with Aqib Talib wanting a big contract, there may be a huge hole in the New England secondary by the time the 2014 season opener rolls around. Before his troubles with drugs, Browner may have been even better than Talib, and if he can get back to that level, it would be a huge win for the Patriots.
Browner is absolutely massive for a cornerback, as his frame alone (6’4, 221 pounds) intimidates opposing wideouts. I think having Browner on one side, and Alfonzo Dennard/Logan Ryan on the other would be sufficient for the Pats, especially if Browner can get back to his 2011 form. Of course, the best scenario would be for the Pats to sign both Browner, and Talib, but I don’t know how realistic that is.
According to ‘Advanced NFL Stats’, back in 2011 (Browner’s best year), he was the fourth best corner in the game. This is going by their ‘WPA’ stat, which stands for ‘Positive Win Probability Added’. Browner ranked 23 spots ahead of Richard Sherman, and 17 spots ahead of Aqib Talib. The other big stat Advaned Stats provides, is ‘EPA’ (Positive Expected Points Added). Browner also ranked fourth in this category, but Sherman was only 11 spots behind him.
Obviously, Browner has red flags. But that doesn’t scare away Bill Belichick. Randy Moss and Corey Dillon had red flags, and they became two of the most productive Patriots of all time. I don’t think Browner will demand a large contract, which is a good thing for New England, as they currently have a tight cap situation.