This was the plan all along, wasn’t it?
After rumors flying around that several different teams were in the running for Brandon Browner’s services, the veteran cornerback signed on Friday with the New England Patriots, the team he spent his first free agency visit with.
According to reports, Browner’s deal was worth $17 million over three years. His $5.6 million annual salary makes him the seventh-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
Now in New England, Browner will team with Darrelle Revis to form one of the most dynamic cornerback duos in the NFL. Revis was signed by the Patriots on Wednesday to a one-year, $12 million deal after receiving his walking papers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, Browner will be forced to sit out the first four games of the 2014 campaign after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He’s also recovering from a groin injury that cut his 2013 season in half, so there is definitely some concern about how effective he can be early on this upcoming season.
If he plays anything like he has in recent years for the Seattle Seahawks, though, the Patriots got a steal.
As part of the famous “Legion of Boom,” Browner has thrived in the Seahawks’ secondary over the last three seasons. In that time, he’s racked up 117 tackles, 10 interceptions and three forced fumbles as a full-time starter. Now set to line up across from Revis, he should have plenty more opportunities to prove he’s a top-tier cornerback.
For years now, folks around the NFL have cited the Patriots’ poor defense as a reason for their lack of Super Bowl wins. With Browner and Revis manning the corners, though, there’s no excuse for them to struggle to slow down opposing passing games. No longer will they be given a pass when Peyton Manning shreds their secondary. With nearly $20 million invested in the two stud cornerbacks in 2014, it’s time for the Patriots to put up or shut up.
It’s safe to say the Patriots are winning free agency after locking down Browner and Revis.