Kenny Britt had a great season for the Rams this year. I cannot stress enough how few of their players did. Britt had 68 catches for 1002 yards which were both career highs. For Lions fans, the most recent memory of Britt was watching him torch the secondary for seven catches, 136 yards and two TD’s. The Rams didn’t have another receiver reach the 600 yard plateau. Britt succeeded despite Case Keenum being responsible for delivering the ball to him for most of the season. He has two seasons in his past that ended due to knee issues, but has gone multiple seasons without a recurrence of those injuries.
What Does Kenny Britt Bring to the Table?
One of the major holes in the Lions’ offense if Anquan Boldin leaves will be the ability to convert on third downs. Britt shares Boldin’s ability to get open when it matters. Boldin managed 20 catches on third down that converted for first downs. Britt has 17, and did not have the advantage of the Lions’ plethora of other options. As the Rams number one target in the passing game he managed to get the job done.
Britt also has speed. He had a year after the surgeries where his speed seemed to desert him, but has rebounded completely. Britt is a three level receiver able to work the entire field. He would bring anther legitimately dangerous weapon to the Lions passing game.
Why Might Kenny Britt Be Available?
Britt is a Jeff Fischer guy, and the Rams were very unhappy with their coach. He is also coming off his best season, which will likely inflate his demands to stay without having tried the free agent market. I think Britt is a good pick to be the highest-end receiver who is still waiting for a contract three weeks into the draft. More consistent free agents like Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Alshon Jeffrey, and tantalizing athletes like Tedd Ginn and Cordarrelle Patterson are available. The well rounded Britt may not find a dance partner immediately after the opening of free agency. The Rams are now in a location that will be coveted by top tier free agents, and players with more proven track records and similar skill sets may see the team as an ideal destination.
The Bottom Line For Kenny Britt
Britt would give the Lions another dangerous weapon in the passing game. He has 4.5 speed and the big body that the Lions are lacking. At 28 years old he could easily be useful to the end of a five year contract and a longer deal could keep his 2016 cap hit low. Using Marvin Jones‘ contract as an example, it has an average value of $8 million per season but only $6.6 million in 2016. If Britt gets a deal near the value of Jones’ the Lions would have around $24 million tied up in their three wide receivers in 2017. The Lions would be spending in the top five of the league on wide receivers along with Green Bay, Denver, Dallas, and the Jets. I do not think Britt will get that much, likely closer to $6 million per season.
They would be getting a player that had one more reception than the player he is replacing and 418 more yards. They would be getting that for an additional first year cap hit of about $3 million. The banana I will use for scale is that Calvin Johnson’s 2016 salary cap hit would have been $24 million in 2016.