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Ian Rapoport on M&M: Brandon Browner told people he accepted Patriots’ offer

03.14.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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NFL Network/NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Patriots’ pursuit of cornerback Brandon Browner and other NFL free agent news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Rapoport reported Thursday night that Browner appeared to have a deal in place with the Patriots, but that’s since been called into question.

“Here’s what I know: Last night Brandon Browner told people very close to him that he had agreed to take the Patriots’ offer,” Rapoport explained. “At that point he was in New England, and my understanding is he is still in New England right now [shortly after noon]. He did have some visits scheduled, according to what his agent Peter Schaffer told Albert Breer in between periods of his men’s hockey league game in Denver. … I was told early this morning that the Redskins visit was then canceled, because they knew he was going to do a deal with New England. And then his agent has been saying the plan is still to go to the Redskins, and now the visit may be back on, after they initially canceled this morning.”

Added Rapoport on the likelihood of the deal getting finalized: “He agreed to a deal, according to people close to him last night. So, I would say the chances are pretty good, regardless of where he visits.”

As for how Browner would fit in, Rapoport said the veteran had some issues last season but the Patriots could be a good fit. Browner would have to sit out the first four games as part of his NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

“He’s an interesting player,” Rapoport said. “He’s big, he’s physical. Really struggled last year with the Seahawks. They were weighing all options, including releasing him last year. Then he got hurt and then he got suspended and they didn’t have to worry about it — they played Walter Thurmond and they won the Super Bowl.

“So I think his play is certainly a question. But you come to New England, he’ll only be allowed to do what he does. So I think it’s probably a good place for him. I think he knows it’s a good place for him, which is why he wants to come to New England. We’ll see what happens from there.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On Vince Wilfork asking for his release from the Patriots: “He informed the Patriots he wanted to be released after 10 seasons. They asked him to take pay cut; it was a non-starter. I think he’s a little beaten down, the way he believes he’s been treated is difficult for someone who has a lot of pride. He’s been the face of this defense for a decade. The way the Patriots do things is unfortunately consistent with this. It’s the way it was for Richard Seymour, Lawyer Milloy, Willie McGinest, a lot of greats faced a similar fate when you get up in the 30s. It sucks, but being unsentimental is one of the reasons the Patriots have been able to be consistently consistent for more than a decade. I can certainly see both sides of this. It’s upsetting and it’s understandable in the same breath.”

On Patriots free agent Julian Edelman visiting the 49ers: “Once you got to a building, there’s always a chance they can keep you there until you sign. They’re definitely interested, I know that. … He goes out to San Fran today. The Patriots’ offer is still on the table. We’ll see what he ends up doing. But it’s his hometown team, it’s who he rooted for growing up. I certainly think there’s a possibility of him landing there.”

On Darrelle Revis‘ contract with the Patriots: “What it does for Revis is it allows him the possibility of being a free agent after Year 1, and it prevents him from being franchised after Year 1. So, that’s good for Revis. For the Patriots, they get one of the best players in the game, that’s good. The Jets don’t get him, that’s also good. And they have the option of starting to working on a long-term deal for Darrelle Revis before anyone else. And if he plays next year like I’m sure he’s going to play, then we’ll see if they can work out a long-term deal. If it doesn’t work as the Patriots intended — and these things don’t always work, for whatever reason — then they can just decline to pick up the option and move on. So I can certainly see it from both sides.”

On the Broncos‘ deal with Aqib Talib: “I think [the Broncos] protected themselves very well. ‘€¦ It’s really three years, [$]27 million — a lot, but nothing the team can’t get out of. And that was the thing with Talib, at team needed to protect [it]self against his past. He’s shown the last couple of years his past has not been an issue. But teams need to be smart. I think that’s a deal that makes sense for both sides. Because if he’s as good as he can be on the field, it’s really not an issue.”

Read More: Aqib Talib, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Ian Rapoport
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