Brandon Browner appeal denied, suspended indefinitely

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Browner's former one-year suspension is now "indefinite," leaving him at the whims of the NFL as to when he returns.

Brandon Browner's appeal of a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy has been denied, according to reports. The Seattle Seahawks cornerback was tabbed with the suspension in late November, and quickly began the appeal process. His actions may have backfired, however. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapaport, Browner's suspension was escalated to "indefinitely," a potentially greater sentence.

Browner, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season, turned down an offer from the NFL to reduce his sentence by three months earlier in December. Browner claims that a urine sample that tested positive for a banned substance was mishandled upon collection.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Browner's career may be in danger. Browner will very likely struggle to field any interest from teams on the free agent market with a lengthy suspension hanging over his head. He will need to be explicitly reinstated by the league. Terms for reinstatement are unknown.

Browner was once considered a pivotal piece of the Seahawks' secondary opposite fellow cornerback Richard Sherman. Seattle's defense has not missed a beat since Browner was suspended, however. Byron Maxwell has taken Browner's spot in the starting lineup, and the Seahawks have shut down the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants in recent weeks.

Browner was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season due to missed drug tests. The suspension may have played a part in the relatively modest one-year, $773,756 contract offer he received from the Seahawks this past offseason.

If Browner's agent Peter Schaeffer is any indication, he isn't taking his latest blow in stride.

Browner released a statement via Twitter on Wednesday evening:

I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years. I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12’s for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful. Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to. Go Hawks!!!

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