Brandon Browner’s reinstatement to the NFL after a drug suspension still requires his suspension for an unspecified number of games to start next season, according to ESPN.
Via Twitter, Browner announced that he had been reinstated by the league after serving more than 2½ months of a one-year suspension for violating its substance-abuse policy over marijuana use.
A Pro Bowl selection in 2011, Browner is an unrestricted free agent who was not a part of the Super Bowl-winning Seahawks this season, as he was serving his suspension. This news of his reinstatement comes just days before Saturday’s start date of when teams can can enter into negotiations with players and their agents. Contracts can be signed as early as Tuesday, March 11.
Seahawks officials would not comment on Browner’s reinstatement because, officially, he is not a member of the team.
But it appears the NFL agreed to end Browner’s suspension after threats from his attorney last week that he would sue the league in federal court over the length of the suspension.
The league informed Browner of his suspension in late November. He played in only eight games last season and was out with a groin injury when he learned of the suspension, which he appealed. He lost the appeal on Dec. 18.
Browner did not play in the second half of the season, missing out on the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl.
The NFL listed Browner as a Stage 3 offender, which brought the one-year suspension, because he did not submit to urine tests while playing in the Canadian Football League from 2007 to 2010 after first failing a test for marijuana use while he was with the Denver Broncos in 2006.