While the Seattle Seahawks are relishing their time in the Super Bowl spotlight, Brandon Browner is on the opposite side of the country, paying for mistakes he didn't even know he'd made.

He hears NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell go all warm and fuzzy, talking about how the league is open to the use of medical marijuana if it would help players. Browner wonders where the compassion is for him.

"It totally sucks," Browner told USA Today Sports. "If (you thought) I had a problem, you should be helping me."

The Seahawks cornerback was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in December after testing positive for marijuana. That would earn most players a four-game ban, the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. But Browner is looking at a lifetime ban because he's considered a repeat offender.

Which is where things get hazy.

Browner tested positive for marijuana as a rookie in 2005. He never played that year, spending the season on injured reserve after breaking his forearm during the preseason. He was cut by the Denver Broncos before the 2006 season began, and no team picked him up.

That last bit is key.

When he was cut by the Broncos, Browner effectively became a former NFL player. The league didn't owe him anything, and he didn't think he owed the league anything.

Turns out, he was wrong.

When Browner returned to the league and tested positive again, the NFL said it was actually his third offense. His second offense was in the form of missed drug tests when he was playing in Canada from 2007-10. Yes, Canada, a country that doesn't have an NFL team.

(Sorry, borrowing one from Buffalo on occasion doesn't count.)

"He was out of the league in 2006 and 2007. That opens up a whole new can of worms," said Peter Schaffer, Browner's agent. "They're trying to put punishment on Brandon for not going to drug tests when he wasn't in the league, tests he wasn't even informed he was supposed to take."

That's like you being fired from your job, only to be punished months later because you weren't still adhering to the rules of the company that fired you.

Sound fair? Not in this country.

One can argue that marijuana is illegal, and Browner shouldn't have been using it in the first place. Except that's not so cut and dried, either.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado and Washington, where Browner played, and similar measures could be seen soon in other states. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 55 percent of Americans support legislative efforts to legalize pot.