The first couple days of free agency went quietly for the Cleveland Browns on actual player movement. The team has been tied to guard Kevin Zietler, safety Tony Jefferson, and their own free agent Terrelle Pryor, but no player had come to terms with the Browns despite some reports that they have been offering out-sized contracts. Thursday reports from NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport indicate that is soon to change. Former Los Angeles Ram Kenny Britt is expect to sign with the Browns soon.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
The eight million per year contract is quite similar to the one that Kenny Stills recently signed to stay with the Miami Dolphins. Interestingly, Stills had used the Philadelphia Eagles as leverage to obtain that deal. Britt also almost signed with the Eagles before coming to a likely accord with the Browns.
Britt is coming off the his best season of his eight year NFL career. He had 68 receptions for 1002 yards and five touchdowns with a catch percentage of 61.3%. He has also helped disprove the early moniker of Brittle Britt as he has played in at least 15 games each of the last three seasons. Over his first five NFL seasons, he had only reached that mark once as he suffered through a littany of injuries.
PFF had good things to say about Britt’s 2016 season as he was their 25th best overall free agent and fifth in wide receiver rankings.
Kenny Britt gained over 1,000 receiving yards with Case Keenum and Jared Goff throwing him the football in 2016. That alone is worth some pretty serious respect. Britt caught 62.4 percent of the passes thrown his way (higher than the completion percentage from either QB overall on the year) and was excellent at making contested catches. 2016 was the first season in his career that Britt has really been heavily targeted, and he rose to meet the increased workload.
There is a solid point there as it was impressive Britt was able to obtain stats in a non-passing-friendly offense without many other weapons similar to Terrelle Pryor with the Browns last year.
Here's a list of the leaders in percentage of team receiving yards pic.twitter.com/eT9nT5ncFI
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) December 30, 2016
Adding Britt does not necessarily take the Browns out of the wide receiver market. The Browns are continuing to negotiate with Terrelle Pryor though the Britt signing could be an indication that the organization is not confident about their ability to retain his services.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 9, 2017
Either way, the Browns made their first move of the 2017 NFL season assuming they can finalize this deal.