We had him in our grasp last on Thursday night. Brandon Browner was going to be a Patriots, on a two-year contract. Ian Rapoport broke the news and that's as good as gold.
And then the conflicting reports came out. Adam Schefter said no deal. Jason La Canfora said no deal. Mike Florio said no deal.
Even a hockey game was interrupted so Browner's agent could tell the world that there was no deal on the records.
But Rapoport stuck to his report. Brandon Browner had told his close friends that he was joining the Patriots, even leading to a public message of congratulations from Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman.
Nothing was official. Just an agreement. No signatures had been exchanged- but it was just a matter of time.
Today's soap opera just added fuel to the fire. Browner was supposed to go to Washington D.C. to interview with the Redskins, but numerous reports surfaced that Browner was still in the Boston area. "Oh, his interview was moved until late on Friday!," claimed Browner's agent.
The news never changed. Reports kept flowing of Browner remaining in New England. "I'm trying to negotiate with the Redskins and the Saints!" his agent cried, begging for more time. Reporters ruin everything!
And it may have. The Patriots are notorious for hating when private dealings surface before completion. So when the terms of the deal came out- three years?! $17 million?! - some might be surprised.
According to Rapoport, the deal was for 2 years, $10 million as of last night. Today's filibustering forced the Patriots to add an extra year and $7 million to sweeten the pot.
Mission success by Browner's agent; all of his delays paid off. Sure, the maximum of Browner's contract is $17 million, and it's likely hinged upon his staying out of trouble and being a productive member of the team. But that's much greater than anyone would have expected.
His average salary is equivalent to the 16th highest cornerback. Or if you think he's a potential strong safety, it's still the 16th highest. His deal from the prior night would have paid out the 20th highest for each position.
That's not something the Patriots would hand out to a player they didn't believe in, or didn't believe would have a large impact on the franchise. The 6'4, 220 lbs soon-to-be 30 year old is a perfect candidate to be a tight end defender and could be a key player once he returns from his suspension.
I thought Browner could have been a bargain bin possibility. Browner's agent made sure that wouldn't be the case.