Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Seahawks Brandon Browner top rookie, except he's not technically a rookie

Posted by Danny O'Neil

RENTON -- Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner has the most interceptions of any rookie in the NFL.

If only, you know, he was a rookie.

And even though this is Browner's first season in the NFL, he's not technically a rookie. At least not under the league's very strict criteria, which does not consider a member of another draft class to be a rookie. Instead, Browner is listed as a first-year player.

It's more than a matter of semantics. Browner has picked off four passes in the past three games, and he would start making some noise in the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation that Denver's Von Miller will probably end up winning.

The NFL has a pretty narrow definition of rookies. There are some exceptions for players from other leagues such as the CFL, but even those are narrow. That's a much more restrictive use of rookie than other sports leagues. Ichiro won the Rookie of the Year in baseball after he played for years in Japan, and Arvydas Sabonis was voted onto the NBA's All-Rookie team in 1996 at the age of 32, but Browner is absent from the league's rookie leaders in interceptions even though he has five of them and no rookie has more than two this season.

Browner made himself available for the 2005 draft, went unchosen and was signed by the Broncos. He was placed on injured reserve during training camp after suffering a broken forearm. Browner was released after Denver's 2006 training camp, and he played the following four seasons in the CFL before signing with Seattle earlier this year.

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