RENTON Brandon Browner’s Seahawks experiment with a specific role -- and his “Legion of Boom” reunion in the secondary -- are over before they really began.
Seattle is going to cut him when it announces its 15 roster moves Tuesday to get down to 75 players by the league deadline. That became apparent Sunday and Monday when he was nowhere to be seen during practices at team headquarters.
Team media policies for closed practices restrict local reporters from detailing who is and isn’t at those workouts unless a coach or player talks about it afterward.
Browner was a second-team safety throughout the spring and training camp, and in Seattle’s three preseason games. The starter for the 2013 Seahawks that won the Super Bowl signed in March what for the team was a no-risk, veteran-minimum contract with no guaranteed money. That alone signaled 32-year old was on tenuous footing to make this team in his second go-round.
Then Tyvis Powell happened. The undrafted rookie from Ohio State has been a revelation as a safety, a cornerback and a hustling special-teams player. He is younger, cheaper and more versatile than Browner, who last season -- his only one with New Orleans -- was the NFL’s most penalized player.
Last week, I asked coach Pete Carroll if Browner’s role -- matchup defending against big receivers inside -- was such that he didn’t need to use him during preseason games to tip the defense’s regular-season hand.
"I think we’re pretty clear on his strengths,” Carroll said Aug. 21. “He’s shown enough stuff where we know where he’s best at and we feel pretty comfortable with that.”
For these Seahawks, he’s now best not on the team.
Don’t be surprised if Browner isn’t the only former veteran starter released when Seattle announces its 15 roster moves on Tuesday. Younger, less-expensive players such as Powell, rookie draft choice Joey Hunt and versatile backup Will Pericak, who can play guard and center, plus the success Justin Britt has had switching positions to the new starting center are endangering older players such as 2015 center Patrick Lewis (who has a $1,671,000 salary-cap number for 2016).