CB Brandon Browner to be suspended for first 4 games of '14

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On Tuesday, the NFL announced that it had reinstated cornerback Brandon Browner, just in time for the start of free agency on March 11.

On Wednesday, though, we found out one caveat to that good news for Browner.

According to a release from the NFL and the NFLPA, Browner will be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season and will have to play an additional four games without pay. Brown had been suspended for the final five weeks of the 2013 regular season and the entire Seahawks playoff run for violating the league's policy on substance abuse.

His contract with Seattle ends March 11, and that's when he'll officially be a free agent. For the record, he's listed as No. 96 on the CBSSports.com free agent tracker.

Brandon Browner could return to action as soon as Week 5 in the 2014 season. (USATSI)
Champ Brandon Browner could return to action as soon as Week 5 in the 2014 season. (USATSI)

Originally, he was suspended for a year, but he recently told CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, "I'm trying to be optimistic about the situation, because I definitely feel like the punishment was too stiff for the circumstances. I don't think I should be suspended for no year ... and I hope they can figure something out and I'm optimistic that I can get back. Like I said, it's just something that motivates me in life, period. You don't want to go out this way, when something you have worked so hard to achieve is taken away from you."

Once he enters free agency, Browner will be allowed to sign with a club and participate in the off-season and preseason workouts.

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