Patriots gridiron news: Kenny Britt will excel in New England’s offense

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - JANUARY 31: Kenny Britt /

Veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt will have a chance to shine in the New England Patriots offense in 2018.

The New England Patriots make somewhat surprising news on Tuesday by announcing that they have picked up the contract option of Kenny Britt.

While this does not guarantee he will be on the 53-man roster come September, it gives the 29-year-old veteran wide receiver a chance to prove what he can do catching the ball for Tom Brady.

Yes, he didn’t show too much in the three regular-season games he played with the Patriots towards the end of the 2017 season, but such struggles were expected being inserted into a complicated offense like the Patriots.

In those three games, he caught just two passes for 23 yards.  Nothing earth shattering, but his size, speed and previous production when dialed in is a reason the Patriots are “looking for big things out of him.”

If he comes anywhere close to the 68 passes for 1,004 yards he put up for the Rams in 2016, the $2 million salary he could receive in 2018 would be worth it.

Why will Britt excel? 

As long as he stays out of trouble off the field, Kenny Britt will be in prime position to do those big things the team expect.  With a wide receiver depth chart that includes Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Phillip Dorsett, there won’t be much pressure on Britt.

If he is able to find chemistry with Brady, he should be able to contribute in the same way Brandon Lloyd and Brandon LaFell did in their best seasons with the team.  Britt’s presence will also serve as some insurance in case Mitchell continues to have bad luck with the knee injury that kept him out throughout the 2017 season.

For the cost, the decision to pick up Britt’s option was an easy decision.  Surprising, because of the amount of depth they already have.

In conclusion, another low-risk, high-reward decision that has a chance of really paying off.  Kenny Britt is due for something big and if any team, if any quarterback can get it out of him, it is the New England Patriots and the greatest quarterback in today’s NFL.

No impact on Danny Amendola 

Missing from the wide receiver depth chart is Danny Amendola due to him being a free agent once the new league year begins.

Amendola does have a desire to return to New England, but it will depend on the type of money the team can offer him.  With the logjam at wide receiver, is Amendola even a priority?

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According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Britt’s return should have no influence on that.  The money at the position can work if Amendola doesn’t demand too much.  Given how important the veteran receiver has been, especially in the postseason, it is logical that the two sides will try to work out a reasonable deal.

At Danny Amendola’s age and with his history of injury, New England is the place he fits best.  Unless the team does want to move on, he should be back competing for a role once training camp begins.

Team declines Alan Branch’s option

Following a less than productive 2017 season, the New England Patriots declined to pick up the 2018 contract option of defensive tackle Alan Branch.

With the run stopper set to count $4.55 million against the salary cap in 2018, this was a move everyone seen coming, especially with him being a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs and Super Bowl LII.

Now that Branch is a free agent, the Patriots depth chart at the position is Malcom Brown, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Vincent Valentine.

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Expect the Patriots to both draft at the position and sign a free agent to add more depth along the front line.