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December 19, 2013 at 9:08 AM report: Browner to file second appeal

No surprise to read here from that Brandon Browner has already filed another appeal of the suspension he was handed by the NFL this week.

Here are the main points of the story:

While the league on Wednesday upheld its own decision to suspend Browner, who was found to have a small quantity of marijuana in his system during a recent test — he is technically suspended “indefinitely” and can apply for reinstatement in a year — sources said the latest appeal was filed to Jeff Pash, the NFL’s chief legal counsel, who could make a decision in consultation with Commissioner Roger Goodell that could usurp what was handed down Wednesday.

Per the NFL/NFLPA drug policy, under the section of Other Appeals:

“Any player who has a grievance over any aspect of the Policy other than discipline, including but not limited to claims of disparate treatment, must present such grievance to the NFLPA (with a copy to the NFL Management Council) within five (5) days of when he knew or should have known of the grievance. The NFLPA will endeavor to resolve the grievance in consultation with the NFL Management Council. Thereafter, the NFLPA may, if it determines the circumstances warrant, present such grievance to the Commissioner for final resolution. Such appeal must be presented to the Commissioner no later than thirty (30) days after the player’s presentment of the grievance to the NFLPA.”

Browner filed his appeal with the league last week, sources said, and thus met the time frame noted in the drug policy. Schaffer has pointed to language within that very drug policy that seems to indicate that a player, based on a certain service time at the NFL level, is no longer subject to random drug testing once out of the league for a period of time, and, league sources said, Pash has yet to rule on the appeal before him.

At this point, though, all of this looks to impact Browner and his future more than it does the Seahawks.

It seems unlikely this would be decided in time for Browner to be eligible this season, and with him being a free agent — and the thought that the Seahawks were likely moving on from Browner even if none of this had happened — it’s almost certain he has played his last game with Seattle.

In fact, for the Seahawks the one positive to the suspension is that it clarifies the situation for now. Browner had remained on the active roster during the appeal but was unable to play due to a groin injury — the Seahawks appeared willing to hold the spot for Browner in case he returned, but with also holding spots for Percy Harvin and K.J. Wright, the depth was getting a little thing. Now, the team can fill that spot on the 53-man roster — which next week will be with Walter Thurmond (they might promote a practice squad player for this week, something they don’t have to do until later in the week).

Having signed Perrish Cox last week, the team will be back to the desired five healthy cornerbacks next week once Thurmond returns, the others being Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane.

And with how well Maxwell and Lane have played, the Seahawks don’t have any real concerns about the cornerback spot for the rest of the season.

Browner’s statement yesterday read as sort of a goodbye letter to the Seahawks, and today’s news that he has filed another appeal and may pursue other legal action appears to be something the Seahawks will look at from afar.





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