Shortly before the start of the regular season, the New England Patriots released wide receiver Kenny Britt. Britt had signed a two-year contract with New England prior to the 2017 season, and the deal contained a second-year option. The Pats picked up the option in order to keep Britt on their roster, but in late August decided to cut him loose due to a lingering hamstring injury.
Britt sustained the injury in the spring and it followed him throughout the offseason program and into training camp. Now, according to the Boston Globe, he’s filing an injury grievance against the Pats to recover the $1.05 million in salary he was set to make before being cut.
It’s possible Britt and the Patriots could work out some sort of settlement where Britt gets part of his salary but not the full amount. If not, the case would go before an independent arbitrator. Whatever the result, 40 percent of the projected $1.05 million Britt was due to draw this season will count against New England’s books while the grievance is decided.
Britt’s saga was part of an offseason-long effort the Patriots undertook to overhaul their wide receiver room. As we wrote in late August, just since the end of last season the Patriots:
- Traded Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams for a first-round pick.
- Signed former Eagles and Bills wideout Jordan Matthews, but they ended up releasing him early in training camp.
- Drafted Braxton Berrios out of the University of Miami in the sixth round.
- Declined Philip Dorsett’s fifth-year option
- Signed and then waived former Lions wideout Chris Lacy.
- Signed undrafted free agent Darren Andrews and then put him on the non-football injury list.
- Saw Julian Edelman get suspended four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy
- Re-signed former seventh-round pick and practice squad player Devin Lucien.
- Signed former Eagles and Saints receiver Paul Turner
- Signed Eric Decker only to see him retire three weeks later.
- Waived former fourth-round pick Malcolm Mitchell after a series of injuries
- Waived Kenny Britt.
- Signed free agent K.J. Maye.
And all that happened before they traded for former Browns wideout Josh Gordon early this season. New England’s wide receiver corps was extremely inconsistent through the early part of the year, with Chris Hogan a massive disappointment and Dorsett looking like Tom Brady’s most consistent perimeter target. The team will get Edelman back from his suspension this week against the Colts and figures to begin working Gordon more heavily into the mix, but the crop of weapons Brady has to throw to has been in flux for a while now, and Britt was part of that.
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