SEATTLE — Cornerback Brandon Browner — currently with the Seahawks but set to become a free agent on Tuesday — will be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season, the NFL announced Wednesday.
Browner had tweeted on Tuesday that the NFL had reinstated him after he was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in December for violating its substance abuse policy. But the NFL and NFL Players Association said Wednesday that the reinstatement was conditional and the second part of the agreement included his four-game suspension for 2014.
“Should he comply with the terms of the Substance Abuse Policy and Program, he will be fully reinstated after serving a four-game suspension without pay at the start of the 2014 regular season and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay,” a joint statement by the NFL and the NFL Players Association said.
Browner, 30, is to become a free agent next Tuesday, and NFL.com said the four-game suspension to start the season will inevitably hurt his market value.
The NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported, per a league source, that whatever team signs Browner won’t have to pay him during the first four weeks — and while the team will have pay him for the next four weeks, that money will be turned over to the league.
“I received wonderful news today,” Browner said on his Twitter account Tuesday. “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,” he said.
Browner, who suffered a severe groin injury in the 2013 season, is to become a free agent next Tuesday if the Seahawks don’t re-sign him.
NFL.com’s Mike Silver had reported earlier that the Seahawks are ready to move on without Browner.