The once promising career of former Rutgers standout Kenny Britt has hit a major speed bump. Not only have the Tennessee Titans completely phased him out of their offense, they are now actively seeking a trade for the embattled wide receiver.
In fact, NFL Network analyst Ian Rapoport noted that Britt is available, and the price is "not high."
This is not surprising news.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Britt has been the least effective receiver in the entire NFL in 2013. With a -9.6 overall rating, he is ranked 108th out of a possible 108 eligible wide receivers.
Britt has only recorded eight receptions on 24 targets and is responsible for four dropped passes so far this season. Those kind of numbers beg the question: What happened to the wide receiver who recorded 42 receptions for 775 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games just four years ago?
Perhaps Britt just quit on the team.
After all, he told Terry McCormick of Titan Insider that he would welcome a trade. "Do I expect to be here? I don’t know what my future is. If I’m here, that’ll be great. If I’m not, it would be a fresh start. Right now, my mind is if I’m here, I am," he said.
However, looking at it from another angle, maybe Britt just never recovered from a serious injury back in 2011.
After a hot start to his career, the 6'3", 223-pound receiver looked to fit the mold at his position in the NFL. Britt recorded back-to-back seasons of 700-plus receiving yards in his first two years in the league.
In 2011, though, Britt suffered a severe season-ending knee injury after only three games.
Up to that point, Britt had played at a very high level. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded the receiver with +6.5, +7.4 and +6.1 grades in his first three seasons, respectively.
|Kenny Britt's Stats By Season|
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
Britt returned in Week 2 of 2012 and just did not seem to be the same receiver. Whether it was the result of nursing his injury or potentially becoming afraid of contact is unknown. One thing is certain: His production took a significant hit.
Throughout the remainder of the 2012 season, Britt struggled. In a drastic turn of events, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) handed the receiver a -7.1 grade on the year—he was ranked 98th out of an eligible 105 receivers.
His struggles have continued in 2013.
After two horrible seasons, there is no reason to believe that Britt will ever be the same again.
Apparently, NFL analyst Michael Silver shares that sentiment. "If you have a 12-pack of Coke and athletic tape, you can have Kenny Britt. Nobody wants him," he told NFL Network (h/t Chris Wesseling of NFL.com).
This is where things get tricky for the Titans and Britt. It is clear that Britt's struggles are well-documented across the NFL. If a team is looking to bolster its wide receiver corps, surely someone more reliable than Britt will be given the first opportunity.
When looking at the trade deadline this season, it is unlikely that a team in contention that lacks depth at the wide receiver position would take a chance on Britt. Given his struggles over the past two seasons, he simply cannot be relied upon.
This means that Britt will have to finish out his contract with the Titans this season and wait to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
However, when the 2014 season approaches, will anyone still be interested?
Keep in mind that, by next year, we will be talking about a wide receiver who hasn't really produced in almost three seasons. It is difficult to speculate as to whether any NFL teams would be willing to take the risk. Britt should not cost a team much money, but he will cost a very precious roster spot.
Taking all things into consideration, there should be at least one team willing to bring Britt into training camp to see if he has anything left in the tank.
If he doesn't produce, we could be looking at the end of a very short career.