SAN DIEGO — Keith Browner, the suspended Charger linebacker, met with Coach Dan Henning briefly Thursday. Henning later characterized the session as an "amiable conversation."
Less than two hours later, the Chargers publicly announced their intention to waive Browner today.
The moral of the story: Don't test positive for drugs. That's what prompted the NFL to suspend Browner for 30 days last Friday.
But maybe there should be an appendix to the moral: If you talk to Dan Henning, and he tells somebody it was an "amiable conversation," look out below.
Browner spoke with reporters at the Chargers' training facility after meeting with Henning. But when asked to comment on statements attributed to Browner saying he had tested positive for alcohol last year but hadn't taken drugs in more than two years, Steve Ortmayer said: "You'd have to get any of that information from the league." Ortmayer is the Chargers' director of football operations.
Browner, who started 15 games at outside linebacker last year, hadn't practiced with the team since Aug. 22. And as late as last Thursday, Henning hadn't heard from the league as to why the NFL was investigating Browner and why the Chargers had been granted a roster exemption on Browner during the investigation.
The NFL usually metes out 30-day suspensions only in the cases of second-time drug or alcohol abuse offenders or first-time steroid offenders.
Browner lost his starting job this summer when the Chargers acquired inside linebacker Jim Collins from the Rams and moved former defensive end Leslie O'Neal to outside linebacker. But the Charger coaches said Browner was playing well enough to make the final 47-man roster.
Neither the Chargers nor the NFL Players Assn. would confirm Browner's statement that he plans to appeal the suspension. Under the current terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Browner has 20 days to file an appeal, and the league then has 10 days to schedule a hearing.
The Chargers placed two more players--cornerback Elliot Smith and offensive lineman Stacy Searels--on their developmental squad. Both were cut by the Chargers Monday.