The Patriots pick up $4.8 million in salary cap space with the move, which would have been more surprising had it not been learned that the club allowed Browner to assess his value on the market this week. That was an indication that the team was possibly considering not picking up the roster bonus.
Browner would have earned a base salary of $1.9 million in 2015 had the Patriots picked up the roster bonus, with a chance to earn more in roster bonuses and playing time incentives. When Browner assessed his value on the market in recent days, the interest from others was notable, according to a source.
Thus, Browner would have been less inclined to accept any type of pay reduction from the Patriots.
Browner paired with Darrelle Revis to form an impressive 1-2 combination at cornerback once Browner made his debut in Week 7. From that point on, the Patriots allowed the second-fewest points in the second half of games, playing press man coverage.
In addition, Revis and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork officially became free agents.