Seahawks' Browner banned indefinitely for substance abuse

Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (80) drops a pass as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner (39) defends during the first half of their NFL football game at Soldier Field in Chicago December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner has been suspended indefinitely for violating the National Football League's substance abuse policy, the NFL said on Wednesday. The 29-year-old's suspension begins immediately, the league said in a statement. According to a league source, Browner turned down a deal that would have "significantly reduced" his initial one-year suspension, reported. A Pro Bowl selection in 2011, Browner had argued that he missed drug tests while not competing in the NFL, though that appeal was denied because the league had notified him of those tests in writing. Browner was also suspended for four games last season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Browner, who signed with the Seahawks and started every game of the 2011 season, had played eight games during this campaign. In his absence, Seattle (12-2) has already secured a playoff spot with the best record in the league and can clinch the NFC West division title and home-field advantage in the postseason with a win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)