The New England Patriots added perhaps the best cornerback in the game in Darrelle Revis just two days ago. They're now adding another All-Pro cornerback to their defensive backfield: Brandon Browner.
It's been quite the bizarre free agent pursuit - there were conflicting reports last night that Browner had signed. Then today, there were conflicting reports that Browner was taking visits with other teams.
As it turned out, Browner never left the Patriots at all. As first reported by Josina Anderson of ESPN and confirmed by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Browner will sign a three year contract with the team:
CB Brandon Browner will sign a 3yr deal in New England tonight, worth a max of $17M. Not too shabby at all. Browner suspended 1st 4 games— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 14, 2014
This is a big signing for the Patriots, and makes their defensive backfield much more versatile. It's unclear at this point what role Browner will play. He could play opposite Darrelle Revis in a press man cover corner role - in a similar fashion to how he played opposite Richard Sherman in Seattle. He could also possibly be moved to strong safety - where the Patriots could have an opening opposite Devin McCourty. He could also be a sub-package specialist, where he could serve as a hybrid safety/cornerback/linebacker and would seemingly be a great player to match up against any tight end in the league.
Suddenly, the Patriots secondary (specifically their top six) is one of the deepest and scariest in the whole league:
CB1: Darrelle Revis | CB2: Brandon Browner / Alfonzo Dennard | CB3: Alfonzo Dennard / Logan Ryan | CB4: Kyle Arrington
FS: Devin McCourty
SS: Brandon Browner / Duron Harmon
Should be a lot of fun to theorize the possibilities!