Brandon Browner, who played for the Seahawks the last three seasons, Tweeted today he has been reinstated by the NFL after it had been ruled earlier he was indefinitely suspended, meaning at least through Dec., 2014:
I received wonderful news today. The NFL has reinstated me, and I now have the opportunity to (cont) http://t.co/AG0Zbpxpgo
— Brandon Browner (@bbrowner27) March 5, 2014
Here is the full text of what Browner wrote:
”I received wonderful news today. The NFL has reinstated me, and I now have the opportunity to prove to the fans and my teammates how important this sport is to me. I realize now more than ever that being part of the NFL is not a right, but a privilege. I am grateful that Commissioner Goodell and my agent were able to resolve this issue in a positive, productive manner so I can continue my career, provide for my family, and help my team win a Super Bowl. Thank you to all who have gone out of their way to show their support. I will live up to your expectations of me.”
Browner is now a free agent and no longer property of the Seahawks, and the team said it would have no comment.
Browner started eight games for the Seahawks in 2013 before injuring his groin and then being suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy for using marijuana.
The NFL determined that Browner was a Stage 3 offender which made him eligible for a one-year suspension because he had not submitted to tests during the time when he played in the Canadian Football League from 2007-10.
Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, has contended in numerous interviews that Browner did not receive sufficient notification of the tests. An earlier appeal was denied by the NFL, which then placed Browner on indefinite suspension.
Schaffer told ProFootballTalk.com and USA Today last week that he planned to file suit this week not only challenging the decision but also to retrieve financial damages arriving from the suspension. Schaffer also told both that he had hoped to have Browner deemed eligible to play while the lawsuit was resolved. Reports have indicated the suspension was lifted today as a result of the pending lawsuit.
Now apparently re-instated, he can sign with a new team March 11, though Pro Football Talk reports that it remains unclear if Browner will be suspended for part of the 2014 season or has been re-instated with no strings attached.
UPDATE — Schaffer told Fox Sports that Browner has been cleared to participate in drills immediately:
Schaffer would not discuss the terms of the agreement but said Browner has been cleared to participate "in OTAs and beyond."
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 5, 2014
However, that doesn’t clear up whether he might miss some games next season as players who face a suspension can participate in camp (as Bruce Irvin did for the Seahawks last season).