Nick Underhill: Plenty of reasons for Brandon Browner outburst, Saints' frustration as pursuit of winning record continues _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints cornerback Brandon Browner (39) reacts to a being called for pass interference while playing the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. Referee Jerome Boger (23) makes the call.

New Orleans Saints cornerback Brandon Browner admitted he was wrong on Twitter for unleashing a profanity-laced tirade at the media in the locker room after the Saints’ 34-28 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.

Browner, who was not being interviewed, took exception to a reporter’s questions to free safety Jairus Byrd and loudly questioned the reporter, repeatedly using profanity.

Saints teammate Mike McGlynn intervened. Browner came back to his locker and dressed.

Browner has now had two issues with the media after games. After the Saints’ loss to Philadelphia, Browner got into an argument with a reporter after declining an interview.

The cornerback responded to news of the outburst on Twitter. Browner disagreed with the reporter’s decision to ask multiple questions to Byrd about a play in the first quarter on which two Saints bobbled an interception and Titans tight end Delanie Walker caught the deflected ball and scored.

“They got a job to make a story, the game went into OT,” Browner tweeted. “That’s your story right there. One play don’t make a game. Next question.”

Contract clause

Things have turned around since early in the season when the Saints were struggling and each week brought a new rumor about Sean Payton being linked to this job or that job. But the NFL Network reported Sunday morning, citing three sources, that Payton’s contract contains a clause that would allow him to leave New Orleans if there were a change in ownership.

The report goes on to state the organization would be willing to let him become a “coaching free agent” after this season if that is what he desired.

Payton’s contract runs through the 2017 season. If a team were interested in acquiring him, it would likely have to seek permission from the Saints to interview him after the season.

The Saints’ ownership situation beyond Tom Benson remains a point of contention.

Earlier this year, Benson named his wife, Gayle Benson, his heir after it was previously believed his daughter and grandchildren would take over his businesses upon his passing.

Tom Benson’s relatives earlier this year filed a lawsuit alleging he was not mentally fit to remain in control of the team, but an Orleans Parish state judge ruled in Benson’s favor. An appeal is pending.

Other matters related to the dispute remain in litigation in other courts in Louisiana and Texas, but those would not affect Benson’s being in control of the franchises no matter how they are resolved.

On multiple occasions, Payton has voiced his support for Tom Benson since the situation with his relatives began. During the offseason, Payton had a poster of Tom Benson hung in the team’s practice facility.

Quarterback quandary

Luke McCown’s season could be over.

The Saints backup quarterback will see a specialist this week after suffering a back injury last week, according to a source.

The current belief is that McCown will need surgery to correct the injury, though options will be explored to avoid that outcome.

McCown practiced Wednesday but missed Thursday and Friday’s session because of the injury. He was inactive for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, with rookie Garrett Grayson serving as Brees’ backup.

McCown signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract to return to New Orleans in the offseason.

The veteran McCown started against the Carolina Panthers during Week 3 in place of the injured Brees. McCown completed 32 of 39 passes for 335 yards during the 27-22 loss.

If McCown is unavailable down the road, Grayson will likely continue to serve in his place. Thomas Morstead is expected to serve as the holder on field goals.

The NFL Network first reported that McCown’s injury could be season ending.