In news that is not so much a big surprise as noteworthy because of the name involved, the Seahawks have parted ways with recently re-signed DB Brandon Browner, with more cuts to come tomorrow.
A part of the original Legion of Boom before it became cool, many fans will have fond memories of Browner's physically dominant presence on the field and less fond memories of his proclivity to get flagged, which truly caught up with him later in his career, setting a new record for most-penalized player last year with the New Orleans Saints. But as a Seahawk, Browner was one of the original success stories of Pete Carroll and John Schneider. A fringe system fit, an unknown player snatched from the CFL, who as a Seahawk performed anywhere from "well enough" to "quite valuable".
And yet this cut should not be surprising to anyone who was paying attention. Browner was signed not to play CB - a role he now appears to be terrible at - but rather as a "Big Nickel" type CB/S hybrid, whose primary role would be to come in at sub packages to cover the tight end. Yet he never seemed to find his groove in this role, showing up in pre-season games only with backups, usually with the third team. With the Seahawks absolutely stacked at both CB and S, it only makes sense they could not fit in Browner unless he wowed them and dominated in this new rule. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he did not.
The fact that Browner got cut (especially so early) points to him not offering an improvement even in a specialized role. If you are of the belief that the Seahawks have a systemic issue with tight ends, there are many pieces we can move around to try to address that issue. Browner covering in the middle of the field was certainly worth exploring but it's not fully surprising it didn't work, and the Seahawks are very deep with talented big-bodied DB they can try to utilize as a big nickel, if they so desire.
The timing of the cut may be the biggest surprise, but this is likely due to a combination of giving veteran respect to Browner - giving him time to find a new team to sign with - and wanting to avoid an injury keeping him on the roster and forcing the Hawks to pay his salary. Considering how poorly Browner played for the Saints, it's unlikely he'll see much interest anywhere other than as a backup, perhaps.
It's been good, Browner, and we'll always have this!