NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It had to be done. Sometimes it's just best to admit you made a mistake and move on rather than hopelessly try to force something work that just doesn't. Regardless of how costly it is.
That was my initial reaction to the apparent release of Saints cornerback Brandon Browner, who used his social media account to strongly suggest his days in New Orleans are done.
Browner is the latest mistake for the Saints in what's become a longer list than anyone would care to admit. The cost of cutting him carries a pretty big price tag. The Saints will accumulate $5.3 million in dead money and only save $950,000 by the Browner move. When a team is straddled against the salary cap like the Saints are, those are the precious dollars that can come back to bite you.
But nonetheless, the move to move on had to be made. There was simply no point in delaying the inevitable. Browner's style just didn't fit. He clashed with local reporters more than any player I've ever seen during the Sean Payton era. He clashed with coaches on the sideline. He even went out of his way to throw a ridiculous cheap shot at a Redskins' player while his defense got scored on.
All of that could have easily been forgiven if he had come even remotely close to playing up to the $15 million contract he signed in the offseason. The Saints hoped Browner's big frame and physical nature would help them in their desire for more press-style cornerbacks. Instead, his size frequently worked to his detriment in this system. He was constantly beat downfield by quicker receivers and set an NFL record for most penalties in a season. What's worse, the penalties were so frequent that by the end of the season he was a marked man by the officials. Even on close calls, there was no way Browner was getting the benefit of the doubt. And those flags proved so costly in so many close games.
A lot of people compared his disastrous signing to that of Jason David in 2007. But at least in David's case, he intercepted eight passes in two seasons. Browner was consistently on the wrong end of big plays.
Saints players and coaches defended him endlessly throughout the season, but deep down everyone knew the truth. Having Browner on their team did not give them the best chance to win. Today, they apparently did something to rectify that.