One of the first signings of the day was wide receiver Kenny Britt, who found a surprisingly strong market and signed a four-year, $32.5 million contract that includes $17 million guaranteed with the Cleveland Browns. Britt, who has seemingly been playing in the NFL since 1974 is actually still only 28 years old, even though he’s already played eight full seasons in the league. Many had hoped he’d land in a better situation but the contract numbers are going to make him a clear starter and a focal point of the Cleveland offense. This signing has an impact on players other than Britt as well, so it’s only right we break it down one-by-one.
Kenny Britt, WR CLE
After some uninspiring seasons, the 6’3″, 223-pound Britt finally put together a solid campaign in 2016 with the Rams that featured 68 catches, 1,002 yards and five scores in the ever-so-famous “eighth year breakout.” We laugh, but he really did have a solid season for the Rams, especially considering how dreadful their quarterback situation was. Unfortunately for Britt, the quarterback situation in Cleveland likely won’t be much better as they currently have only the newly acquired Brock Osweiler (whom they may cut), Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan on their roster. Ouch.
So, what should we expect?
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With Britt, you truly never know. However, he does seem to have matured a bit and put up a career year last season. It’s just very difficult to trust him in your lineup until you see just what the Browns do at quarterback. The Browns have a ton of draft choices and a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or the drafting of a prized rookie signal caller have to be expected – Britt owners have to be crossing their fingers there. On a positive note, the Browns will likely trail in games and may be forced to throw the ball a lot next season. He’s currently our WR60 and that ranking is destined to move up a bit now that he’s been paid. The one thing a dynasty owner can exploit is disappointment – many Britt owners have had him a long time and are tired of being burned after he flashes a glimpse of hope. As you can see from our new ADP comparison tool (I’ll pause for dramatic effect as you freak out when you realize how cool this is), his value is on the rise. This should continue gradually in the coming months.
Corey Coleman, WR CLE
This is going to be a big season for Coleman, who started strong, got hurt and finished with a bit of a whimper. The big news here is Terrelle Pryor is likely headed elsewhere, so Coleman is going to have a big opportunity to make a second year leap. Britt is going to get his targets but the Browns really need to see what they have in Coleman. Again, the bigger issue for all of them is the current lack of a quarterback.
Terrelle Pryor, WR FA
It’s pretty amazing to me that Britt was given $17 million guaranteed and the Browns were willing to let Pryor walk. It was thought all along that he wanted to stay in Cleveland but it doesn’t look like he’s going to get the opportunity. Pryor is now one of the most intriguing receivers left on the market after posting 77 receptions for 1,007 yards four touchdowns in his first full season as a receiver. Washington seems interested but that’s far from a done deal. This will a very interesting domino to see fall.
The addition of Britt really doesn’t affect the rest of the receiving corps of the Browns since Pryor looks to be leaving. However, the Browns may not be done shopping. The likes of Ricardo Louis, Rashard Higgins, Jordan Payton and the others will have to wait and see what happens next.
Much like many other moves from today, this one still has a “wait and see” flavor before we can fully analyze just what the move may entail. Still, it’s an exciting move for Britt, who will have every opportunity to prove he’s not a one year wonder.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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