Kenny Britt went from being underused by an 0-16 Cleveland Browns team last season to a New England Patriots squad that made its second consecutive Super Bowl.
It’s safe to say things worked out well for Britt in the end.
Although he didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl, he did enough behind closed doors to convince the Patriots to bring him back for another season. Convincing head coach Bill Belichick of doing anything isn’t easy, especially for wide receivers, but as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday, the five-time Super Bowl champions picked up the option on Britt’s contract and are reportedly expecting “big things” from him next season.
Those are loaded expectations for a receiver who has never been the model of consistency on the football field. There is still hope that the Patriots’ coaching staff can tap into the same player who caught 68 receptions for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns in a career season with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. His 6-foot-3, 223-pound frame is definitely good news for quarterback Tom Brady, who typically plays with small and shiftier receivers.
“When I got here, first thing was, I’m over here with Tom Brady,” Britt said back in December, via the Providence Journal. “He’s the GOAT. I had to take that energy and focus on getting into the playbook and learning because I can’t be out there helping if I don’t know what I’m doing… Since I parted ways with Tennessee, [joining the Patriots has] always been in the back of my mind, but whatever reason it was, the timing wasn’t right to be here. Three, four years later I’m here and not looking back.”
While Britt could potentially turn back the clock and contribute to the Patriots’ 2018 run, it’s hard to envision him making it out of training camp, especially if Danny Amendola sticks around. The Patriots are already loaded at the receiver position with Amendola and Brandin Cooks, along with the anticipated returns of Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell.
If everyone sticks around and remains healthy throughout training camp, Britt could get cut before the start of the regular season. Belichick has a long history of stockpiling talent and letting players compete for reps, which seems to be the case in this situation.
Britt will be given an opportunity to compete for work, but unless those “big things” emerge on the practice field, his stay in New England will be cut short.