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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Patriots Back Up the PED Truck, Get Brandon Browner

I didn't think we'd be saying this anytime soon but suddenly the Patriots might have the best pair of cornerbacks in the NFL: Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. The latter was signed to a three-year deal tonight worth $17 million. The former Seahawk is suspended for the first four games of the regular season but who cares since as the Pats have proven over the last decade, the AFC East is a joke and almost always a foregone conclusion that they can use as an extended preseason before the playoffs.

Browner played in eight games last season with Seattle (his third in the league) and put up 19 tackles and one interception. He was a Pro Bowler in 2011, his rookie season out of Oregon State where he had 51 solo tackles, six interceptions and two touchdowns. He played in all 16 games that year but received his first drug suspension for performance enhancers in 2012 and then he was hit with the nine-game suspension (last two regular season games, playoffs and four in 2014) for his second offense. He'll be eligible to attend training camp and play in the preseason games.

Like Revis, this is another great move by New England since Browner is clearly trying to rehab his image (no pun intended). He has to prove worthy of a long-term deal and I'm sure the Patriots will have countless clauses and incentives written in his contract should he screw up again. The good news is that the PEDs don't flow quite around here as freely as they do with Pete Carroll's boys in the Pacific Northwest.

Browner turns 30 in August (not sure why he entered the NFL that old) so he's in the prime of his career. His best asset is his size: 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. He has to be the biggest cornerback in the NFL but he's not a freak though since he totaled 10 interceptions and 123 combined tackles in just 38 career NFL games. Teams around the league better enjoy Weeks 1-4 vs. New England in 2014 since by Week 5, passing outside is going to be very difficult against these two studs.

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