Kenny Britt

Kenny Britt To Visit Patriots, Could Re-Sign

New England continues to cycle through options at receiver, and now Kenny Britt might be back on the table according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Rapsheet reports that Britt will visit the Patriots and work out for the team on Monday. He writes that “if all goes well and his hamstring is healthy, he could sign in New England.” It would be an interesting development for a player who was just cut by the Patriots back in August.

New England just recently cut Bennie Fowler, so Britt could slide into his spot on the roster while the team awaits the return of Julian Edelman from suspension. Britt’s release a couple of weeks before cutdown day was a surprise, as he was expected to take on a larger role in the Patriots’ depleted receiving corp. Britt signed with the Patriots late last season and was often a gameday inactive, catching two passes for 23 yards across three games.

Britt has proven he can be a productive receiver in the league, but has often clashed with coaching staffs. He didn’t get along well with management in Cleveland, and was released by the Browns just nine games into a four-year $32.5MM contract. Just two seasons ago, he put up 1,002 yards and five touchdowns with the Rams, so maybe he’ll be able to pull of a career resurgence in New England, assuming he re-signs.

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AFC East Notes: Patriots, Britt, Bridgewater

The Patriots released wide receiver Kenny Britt earlier today, but New England actually offered the veteran pass-catcher an extension earlier this summer, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter links). As of earlier this week, Britt was still dealing with the hamstring injury that landed him on the physically unable to perform list, so it’s possible the Patriots were attempting to use that leverage in order to re-up Britt on a cheap deal. New England originally signed Britt last December after he was cut by the Browns; his contract included a option for 2018 which the Pats exercised in March. Britt was scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.05MM this season ($150K of which was fully guaranteed), and he already collected $50K in workout bonuses. Per Howe, Britt is now nearing full recovery and is expected to find a new team in the near future.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Teddy Bridgewater is reportedly on the trade block, and the Jets have already received interest from at least two clubs. With that in mind, Mike Sando and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com looked at six possible destinations for Bridgewater, who has excelled through two preseason games. Teams like the Cowboys or Panthers that currently lack an established backup quarterback certainly make sense as contenders for Bridgewater, but perhaps the most interesting team listed by the ESPN scribes is the divisional rival Dolphins. Bridgewater, 25, inked a one-year deal with a base value of $6MM, but he can earn another $9MM based on performance and playtime incentives.
  • Speaking of Bridgewater, Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com details the lengthy surgical and rehabilitation process the veteran Jets quarterback faced after dislocating his knee in 2016. “…[I]t’s certainly the worst knee dislocation in sports I’ve ever seen without having a nerve or vessel injury,” said surgeon Dan Cooper. “It’s an injury that about 20-25 percent of NFL players are able to come back from. … It’s a horrific injury. You’ve torn every single thing in your knee and it’s hanging on by one ligament on one side like a hinge.”
  • In case you missed it, the edge-rusher needy Jets have now expressed interest in both the Raiders’ Khalil Mack and the Jaguars’ Dante Fowler.

Patriots Release WR Kenny Britt

Kenny Britt‘s time with the Patriots has come to an end. On Wednesday, the Patriots released the wide receiver, according to an announcement from his agency. 

Britt was expected to take on a larger role with the Pats following the departure of Danny Amendola and the four-game suspension handed to Julian Edelman. However, he was never able get on the field during training camp with due to his hamstring, and the Pats ran out of patience.

The Pats removed Britt from the PUP list a couple of weeks ago. At the time, the soon-to-be 30-year-old indicated that he was close to being ready, though he declined to speculate on his Week 1 status.

In 2016, Britt had breakout campaign and recorded a 1,000-yard season with the Rams. He parlayed that success into a lucrative free agent deal with the Browns, but that proved to be a disaster. In his first act as the Browns’ new GM, John Dorsey axed Britt, leading him to sign with the Patriots in December.

The Patriots’ wide receiver group was thinned out even further this summer when they axed Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell. They have since signed Eric Decker, but this WR group has decidedly less star power than it did four weeks ago.

The Patriots should now have an easier time when it comes to roster cuts on Sept. 1. Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and special teams ace Matt Slater all figure to be on the 53-man roster, while sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios and Decker could convince the Pats to carry six receivers into the season opener. Of course, the math can change if the Patriots add a notable veteran such as Dez Bryant.

Britt already earned $200K in offseason roster and workout bonuses this year, so he won’t leave New England empty handed. In three games for the Patriots last year, he caught two passes for 23 yards.

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East Rumors: Redskins, Woods, Britt, Giants

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles made plans to visit the Redskins this weekend, following Orleans Darkwa in doing so. This effort to add a piece to a reeling backfield won’t be to bring in a starter but to add depth to a position group that needs it. Jay Gruden said (video link) his team is “covering our bases” in arranging visits with these free agent backs. Being merely a four-year veteran with a light carry history, Darkwa certainly has the most left in the tank. He led the Giants in rushing last season. Peterson, though, has recent experience fitting in quickly with a new team. Although he didn’t do well on a per-carry basis behind a struggling Cardinals offensive line, the future Hall of Fame back posted two 130-plus-yard performances last season — the first of which coming in his initial Cards game. Charles fell out of the Broncos’ rotation late in the season, but the two-time All-Pro made it through last year healthy and performed fairly well (4.3 yards per tote) before being shut down.

Washington lost Derrius Guice and has Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall on the mend. Here’s the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals, along with news out of the AFC East.

  • Projected to be one of the Cowboys‘ starting safeties, Xavier Woods will be out between three and four weeks because of a hamstring injury, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. Dallas has been linked to Earl Thomas throughout 2018 and is now examining recently released George Iloka. The Cowboys selected Woods in the sixth round last year and deployed him in four games as a starter.
  • Kenny Britt is still dealing with the hamstring injury he suffered during Patriots minicamp. The veteran wideout has not participated in 11-on-11 drills since that setback, Doug Kyed of NESN.com notes. The Pats removed Britt from the PUP list two weeks ago, and the soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver said he’s feeling OK presently. He declined to predict whether or not he’ll be ready for Week 1. The Patriots signed Britt late last season and picked up his 2018 option in March, but considering how poorly he played with the Browns and his injury status, it wouldn’t be a shock if he’s not on the roster by September. The Pats have endured a turbulent offseason at this position, cutting both Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell, signing Eric Decker and seeing Julian Edelman incur a four-game PED suspension.
  • The Giants made a change in their sub-package alignment Sunday, swapping in Ray-Ray Armstrong for B.J. Goodson at one of the two linebacker positions, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Armstrong and Alec Ogletree worked as Big Blue’s nickel ‘backers at practice. Armstrong played safety in college and has bounced around in the NFL, seeing action with the Rams, Raiders and 49ers before joining the Giants last year. Pro Football Focus graded both Goodson and Armstrong as poor coverage players last season.

Patriots Exercise Kenny Britt’s Option

Kenny Britt is staying in New England. The Patriots informed the wide receiver that they will be exercising his option for the 2018 season.

This time last year, the Browns signed Britt to a four-year, $32.5MM deal. That contract turned out to be an absolute disaster as he had just 18 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns for Cleveland. When John Dorsey replaced Sashi Brown as the Browns’ top exec, his very first move was to release Britt, even though it meant eating the guaranteed portion of his contract. Britt went unclaimed on waivers, but the Pats quickly scooped him up.

The Patriots paid Britt the prorated portion of the veteran minimum ($900K) in the first year of his deal with an option for $2018 worth $1.5MM with a chance to reach $2MM. Given that Britt is not far removed from his 1,000+ yard campaign with the Rams, his contract could turn into one of the league’s most tremendous values.

Britt saw time in only three games for New England and did not suit up for the playoffs. With a full offseason to acclimate to the Pats’ offense, he may be in position for a significant role this season. His presence may also allow the Pats to allow Danny Amendola to leave in free agency, should his asking price climb too high.

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Extra Points: Browns, Redskins, Cardinals

The Browns‘ previous regime wasn’t the only target for new general manager John Dorsey today, as he also added some pointed words for wide receiver Kenny Britt — whom Dorsey waived earlier this week — on Thursday morning. “I have no problem making that decision,” Dorsey told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “From a cultural standpoint I don’t think he fits in the prototypical character point of what I’m looking for in terms of a leader. He did not live up to his expectations as a player.” Dorsey went on to say Britt “may have a higher opinion of himself than I have of him as a player, so I thought that was easy.” Britt, who signed a four-year, $32.5MM deal with Cleveland in March, is now with the Patriots on a cheap two-year contract.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Cornerback Josh Norman is fewer than two years into a five-year contract with the Redskins, but following back-to-back blowout losses, and second consecutive season that will end without a postseason berth, the All Pro defensive back sounds frustrated, according to Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post. “I came here to win a championship,” Norman said. “If we’re not doing that, what are we doing? Why are we here? Because I’m not going to be a part of something that’s not going to go forward and win a championship. That’s serious. I don’t care about the money.” Norman is currently struggling through his worst campaign since 2013, but Washington’s pass defense nonetheless ranks 11th by DVOA.
  • When Bruce Arians had preliminary thoughts of retirement following the 2016 season, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim “looked into” Sean McVay as a potential replacement, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. McVay, of course, has turned the Rams into a contender in his first season as head coach, and Breer suggests that Keim’s interest in the former Redskins offensive coordinator could hint at what type of candidates Arizona would look at if Arians retires this offseason. That could potentially mean that Keim and the rest of the Cardinals front office would search for both youth and an offensive mind if they are forced to find a new head coach.
  • Jerry Jones isn’t the only owner who believes the NFL should “get out of the investigation business,” per Breer, who adds many in league circles think the NFL headquarters has become “bloated” with staffers. Commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t going anywhere soon, as he recently signed an extension through 2024, but several of his underlings could be on the outs. COO Tod Leiweke, chief marketing officer Dawn Hudson, special counsel Lisa Friel, EVP of health and safety Jeff Miller, and general counsel Jeff Pash could all be let go or reassigned, says Breer.
  • The Browns, Patriots, and Texans have all expressed interest in Raiders practice squad offensive lineman Fadol Brown, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who first reported Wednesday that numerous clubs were reaching out to Brown. “I don’t think I’m going to be here next week, to be honest,” Brown said. An undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss, Brown has spent the entirety of the 2017 campaign on Oakland’s practice squad. In a predraft profile, Lance Zierlein of NFL.comsaid Brown “sets a strong edge” in the run game but is a poor pass rusher due to “lazy” hands.

Chiefs, Jaguars Had Interest In Kenny Britt

Before Kenny Britt signed with the Patriots, both the Chiefs and Jaguars had interest in the veteran wide receiver, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).Kenny Britt (vertical)

[RELATED: Details Of Kenny Britt’s Patriots Contract]

Kansas City has been searching for a secondary wideout to step up ever since Chris Conley suffered a ruptured Achilles in mid-October. Both Demarcus Robinson and Albert Wilson have seen more playing time, but neither has been a focal point of the Chiefs’ offense. Of course, there are only so many balls to go around on a roster that includes Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt, but Robinson and Wilson have managed only 25 combined receptions since Conley went down.

The Jaguars, meanwhile, have recently seen the emergence of Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole behind Marqise Lee, but they could have used another weapon for an offense which ranks 15th in passing DVOA. Jacksonville is currently without Allen Robinson (who tore his ACL in the first game of the season) and Allen Hurns, who’s been sidelined by an ankle injury since Week 10.

Both the Chiefs and Jaguars (and Patriots, for that matter) had the option of claiming Britt off waivers from the Browns, as every player — vested veterans included — must go through the waiver process once the NFL’s trade deadline passes. As Miguel Benzan of the Boston Sports Journal notes (Twitter link), Kansas City and New England are both tight on cap space, which could have made taking on the rest of Britt’s salary (roughly $940K) difficult.

Jacksonville, however, has more than $30MM in reserves, so it clearly could have claimed Britt’s cost without worrying about cap space. All of Britt’s guarantees will expire after the 2017 campaign, so the Jaguars could have released him before next season with no further cost. Instead, Jacksonville allowed Britt to pass through waivers and sign with a direct AFC competitor.

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Details On Kenny Britt’s Contract

In the spring, the Browns signed Kenny Britt to a four-year deal with more than $10MM guaranteed. After he was cut in December, the Patriots landed him for significantly less. Kenny Britt (vertical)

[RELATED: Patriots Sign WR Kenny Britt]

The Patriots are paying wide Britt a prorated portion of the veteran minimum ($900K) in the first year of his deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. After that, he’ll earn $1.5MM in 2018 year with a chance to reach to $2MM through incentives. However, the second year of the deal is a team option. If Britt does not perform, the Patriots can put him back out on the curb before next season.

Britt’s attitude and work ethic were an issue in Cleveland, but his contract with the Patriots is about as low-risk as it gets. If Britt can play up to even half of his potential without causing a locker room disturbance, he’ll be retained for next year on the cheap. If he causes headaches, then the Patriots can move on without any financial penalty. There’s always the chance that the temperamental wide receiver could mess with the team’s culture, but the Patriots had no such issues when they claimed Michael Floyd off of waivers nearly one year ago today.

Britt’s first opportunity to suit up for the Pats could come this Sunday against the Steelers.

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AFC North Notes: Browns, Kizer, Steelers

Browns rookie DeShone Kizer is out to prove that he can be the quarterback of the future in Cleveland.

Every time I step out onto the field it’s about doing whatever I can to prove to my teammates and to this organization who I am as a quarterback and as a competitor,” said Kizer (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). “I look forward to being in Cleveland for a long time and I look forward to winning for a long time. Every rep that I get, it’s about making sure everyone knows exactly who I am.”

Still, Cabot argues that the Browns have no real choice but to use their top draft pick in 2018 on a quarterback. Kizer has shown promise at times, but someone from the group of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, and Josh Allen may provide greater upside. If the Browns finish out with the No. 1 pick – which seems very likely – and come to a consensus on someone from that trio, Kizer’s days in Cleveland could be numbered. Or, at the very least, he could find himself holding the clipboard next year.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson says that wide receiver Kenny Britt did not ask for his release. “I can clarify that for sure,” Jackson said (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal). On Wednesday, the Patriots formally signed Britt to a two-year deal.
  • Steelers cornerback Joe Haden will practice this week after missing a month with a broken leg, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Before the injury, Haden was on the field for almost every Pittsburgh defensive snap. Haden still ranks as the No. 32 cornerback in the league among 117 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
  • This week, Robert Griffin III said that he nearly signed with the Ravens this year. Thanks to being benched in his final year with the Redskins, injuries in 2016, and his lack of employment in 2017, Griffin has appeared in just five games over the last three seasons.

Patriots Sign Kenny Britt

The Patriots have signed former Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt to a two-year deal, as first reported by Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The team confirmed the move in a press release on Wednesday.

Britt visited the Pats on Tuesday and it didn’t take long for the two sides to get down to brass tacks. Rapoport hears that New England was Britt’s preferred landing spot. "<strong

The Patriots stood out as a strong contender to land Britt after he cleared waivers. After all, the Patriots have an affinity for ex-Rutgers players (likely fueled by their connection to former RU head coach Greg Schiano) and they have a clear need at receiver with multiple injuries in that unit.

Bill Belichick also has a track record for getting the most out of players with perceived attitude problems. Back in 2007, many in the football world figured that Randy Moss‘ best days were behind him after a rocky stint in Oakland. For the low price of a fourth-round pick, the Patriots wound up with one of the game’s most lethal offensive weapons. Britt does not have the talent of Moss in his prime, but he has demonstrated game-breaking ability in the past. Britt was an abject bust for the Browns, and an expensive one at that. Still, he’s just one year removed from a 1,000+ yard campaign with the Rams.

If he can quickly familiarize himself with the playbook, Britt could be in for a prominent role right off of the bat. Top targets Malcolm Mitchell and Julian Edelman have been parked on IR, leaving Britt an opportunity to crack the rotation. Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Phillip Dorsett, and Matt Slater currently stand as the team’s top five receivers.

The Patriots, who fell to 10-3 after being upset by Miami, are seeking to lock down a first-round bye in the final three games of the season. Meanwhile, Britt’s former team continues to look for its first win of the 2017 season.

In related moves, the Pats signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois and cut wide receiver Bernard Reedy. Meanwhile, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon has been placed on IR.

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