Brandon Browner Breaks Single Season Penalty Record
We can finally say the Saints signed a record breaking free agent because Brandon Browner broke the NFL's record for penalties.
The league's leading offender reached true penalty greatness on Monday night by racking up his 23rd penalty of the season (he picked up another against Detroit to move his tally to 24), which was good enough to break the previous record from 2003.
It's been a wrestling match on the outside for Browner all season long, and the refs love lighting him up with their tiny yellow flags.
Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune broke down his season so far by categorical offenses: 10 holding, 3 unnecessary roughness, 3 face mask, 3 pass interference, 1 illegal block above the waist, 1 illegal contact and 1 offsides...and two other penalties were actually turned down. It's an ugly laundry list, but the Saints knew what they were buying.
It's not like Browner was an angel coming in. His reputation around the league is as a mauler, and the refs aren't excluded from that opinion.
The Saints signed him to come into the secondary and rough people up, give them an edge...but this is a little different. Opposing teams know if they pick on him, they're likely to get a flag or two per game and maybe a few free first downs. He actually did a decent job of shackling a hobbled Calvin Johnson on Monday night, but the flags still flew. It's par for the course for Browner. You like the fact that he's third on the team in tackling, but you hate that he can't tone down the physicality when he needs to.
Will the Saints cut him? Probably not. The coaching staff continues to defend his play and behavior, and they have a good chunk of change tied up in his contract. For the tine being, just get used to the penalties because they're not going away.
With two games left on the schedule, Browner has time to pad his penalty stats and set his new NFL record a littler higher. He might try to break it next year though.