The Patriots have released wide receiver Kenny Britt, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported Wednesday afternoon.
Sources: The #Patriots are releasing WR Kenny Britt. A fairly big surprise given the expectations coming into camp.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 22, 2018
Britt’s agent, Fadde Mikhail, confirmed the news shortly after Rapoport’s report. The Patriots also announced the release Wednesday afternoon.
I can confirm the reports re client #KennyBritt
— FADDE (@fadde) August 22, 2018
The Patriots signed Britt in December to a two-year deal and picked up the second year of his contract in March. He played in three games last season, recording just two catches for 23 yards. The 29-year-old was inactive for Super Bowl LII.
Britt was expected to step into a larger role this season, after the departure of several receivers (e.g. Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks, and Malcolm Mitchell), but suffered a minor hamstring injury during minicamp in June. He opened training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, and, though his time on PUP was brief, he never was a full participant during practice.
“I definitely feel like I’m behind, because I’m not out there with the guys, getting the chemistry that I need with the quarterbacks and just with everybody on the same page with what we do,” Britt said after practice Sunday.
As Rapoport noted in his report, the decision to release Britt — who recorded a 1,000-yard season in 2016 — was “a fairly big surprise.” The Patriots also recently parted ways with former practice squad member Cody Hollister and newcomer Jordan Matthews, depleting their already limited receiving corps.
New England’s wide receiver depth chart now consists of the following players: Julian Edelman (suspended for the first four games of the regular season), Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Eric Decker, Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios, Devin Lucien, and Matthew Slater.