According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are allowing cornerback Brandon Browner to explore his value around the NFL. Browner was a key cog in New England’s Super Bowl team, and I wouldn’t be happy if they lost him. With that said, he is due quite a bit of money in 2015, and as Howe points out, the Patriots have until today at 4 PM ET to pick up his option.
"The Patriots have until tomorrow at 4 p.m. to decide on Browner’s team option for the 2015 season. However, the Patriots would like to restructure the contract and have allowed Browner to explore his value around the league, according to another team source.If the Patriots exercise Browner’s option, he would count $4.8 million against the cap, but he would also earn a $2 million roster bonus tomorrow. If they decline the option, they would save $4.8 million against the cap without any dead money because Browner didn’t receive a signing bonus last year."
Essentially, it sounds like the Patriots want to restructure his contract, but they are letting him check out his value around the league before they meet at the negotiating table. $4.8 million against the cap certainly is a lot, but it isn’t ridiculous, and I believe the Patriots have much bigger contracts to worry about right now.
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Obviously aside from retaining Darrelle Revis, the top priority for the Pats as of this current moment should be re-working linebacker Jerod Mayo’s deal. Browner will count for nearly $5 million against the cap, but Mayo is set to count over $10 million against it. I love Mayo, and I hope he returns next season, but that is just too much money for a linebacker that may be the third best on the team right now.
Going back to Browner, I honestly am fine with his current contract. Could it be restructured? Of course, and it sounds like the Patriots are going to try to do just that. However if the two sides can’t work out a compromise, I don’t think New England should cut him to gain cap space. He is an important piece in this defense, and they will need him in 2015.