New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL officially suspended Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner for an indefinite period on Wednesday after he lost his appeal for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Browner had been facing a potential one-year ban as a second-time offender, but NFL.com reported that he turned down an offer by the NFL to reduce the penalty and instead opted to fight the verdict. When the appeal was denied, the league announced the indefinite suspension, meaning he now faces a possible banishment beyond 12 months.
The impending free agent had sat out the final four regular-season games of 2012 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance last year, then returned for Seattle's two playoff contests.
This particular suspension reportedly stems from multiple drug tests that Browner skipped, which the former CFL star argued took place when he was not in the NFL. But according to NFL.com, the league was able to show documentation that Browner was informed of the tests in writing which ultimately denied his appeal.
Browner signed with the Seahawks prior to the 2011 season and started all 16 games that year, recording six interceptions and returning two for touchdowns along with 23 passes defensed to earn a spot on the NFC's Pro Bowl squad. The 6-foot-4 corner also played a key role on a Seattle team that won 11 regular- season games and one more in the playoffs last year, but has been limited to just eight contests this season because of a groin injury.
Byron Maxwell has performed well in Browner's absence on the NFL's top-ranked pass defense, highlighted by a two-interception outing in last week's shutout victory over the New York Giants.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Browner will not be eligible to apply for reinstatement until a full year has passed.