What's buzzing:

NFL roundup: Browner reinstated with four-game suspension

The SportsXchange

Cornerback Brandon Browner has officially been reinstated by the NFL, but he will be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season and pay an additional four-game fine, the league and NFLPA jointly announced Wednesday.

Browner, who played the last three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks after playing four seasons in the Canadian Football League, is now free to sign with any NFL team when free agency starts next week.

The NFL and the players association announced the negotiated compromise, which staved off litigation that would have challenged the league's decision to discipline Browner for missing drug tests while he wasn't playing in the NFL.

The joint statement read:

"The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to conditionally reinstate Brandon Browner from his indefinite suspension under the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

"Browner was suspended without pay for the Seattle Seahawks' final five games of the 2013 season, including the playoffs. His contract with the Seahawks expires at the end of the 2013 League Year on March 11. He will be eligible to sign with a club and participate in offseason and preseason activities.

"Should he comply with the terms of the Substance Abuse Policy and Program, he will be fully reinstated after serving a four-game suspension without pay at the start of the 2014 regular season and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay."

---Cornerback Cortland Finnegan was the centerpiece of the St. Louis Rams' free-agent additions two years ago after Jeff Fisher was named head coach. Now, two years later, he will likely be released next week because of a combination of salary and diminishing skills.

Finnegan tweeted his apparent goodbye Wednesday, writing, "St. Louis thank you for your letting me play for a classy franchise and coach fish nothing but love thank you all."

---The Pittsburgh Steelers worked out new three-year deals with safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller, keeping the key veterans under contract through 2016 while gaining some much-needed salary cap space.

The team also re-signed safety Will Allen, his agent announced on Twitter.

Pittsburgh also announced linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown have been released as the team scrambles to get under the salary cap by the start of free agency next week.

---Safety Aaron Williams signed a four-year, $26 million contract extension with the Buffalo Bills.

The deal makes Williams the eighth highest-paid safety in the NFL and includes $14.625 million in guarantees and a $6.25 million signing bonus.

---The Cincinnati Bengals extended tender offers to wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Dane Sanzenbacher and linebacker Vincent Rey.

The three fourth-year players are set to become restricted free agents when their current contracts expire at Saturday's NFL deadline.

---The Cleveland Browns have officially parted ways with talented but troubled wide receiver Davone Bess.

The team announced that it had released Bess, wide receiver Brian Tyms and linebacker Paul Hazel.

---The Minnesota Vikings released veteran tight end John Carlson after attempts to reach agreement on a restructured contract failed.

Carlson, 29, has a history of concussion problems and was reported to be considering retirement.

---Punter Adam Podlesh was released by the Chicago Bears, a move that had been expected since the end of the 2013 season.

Podlesh, a seven-year veteran, would have counted $1.87 million against the 2014 salary cap. He averaged a career-low 40.6 yards per punt last season with the Bears.

---Running back Bobby Rainey, who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 532 rushing yards in 2013. signed a one-year contract extension.

Rainey was an exclusive-rights free agent, which meant the Bucs needed only to offer him a contract to keep his rights. The one-year extension puts him back on the traditional NFL cycle of being a restricted free agent after his third NFL season in the spring of 2015, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

---The Buffalo Bills and Rogers Media announced the team will not play a regular-season game in Toronto in 2014.

The Bills are 1-5 in regular-season games played at the Rogers Centre, and 2-0 in preseason games, but the series has struggled to fill seats despite both sides claiming strong NFL interest in Canada.

---Chicago is exploring the possibility of a 5,000-seat expansion of Soldier Field in hopes of attracting a future Super Bowl to the Windy City.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a strong advocate of pursuing a Super Bowl, but Soldier Field currently seats just 61,500 and would be considered too small by NFL standards to host the annual championship game. The mayor's office is working with the Chicago Park District, the owners of the stadium, on the feasibility of such a project.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (2)