Instead, injuries and off-field dust-ups propelled him into the doghouse and then off the Tennessee Titans altogether. After landing a second chance from his first pro coach, Jeff Fisher, Britt will try to resurrect his NFL career.
As Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports, Britt has agreed to terms with the St. Louis Rams on a one-year contract:
Former #Titans WR Kenny Britt has agreed to terms on a 1-year deal with the St. Louis Rams, per sources. Will rejoin Jeff Fisher— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 31, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com pointed out the financial details of the deal:
Kenny Britt’s deal with the #Rams is worth $1.4M base, but incentives could take it to $2.9M, source says.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2014
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Rams' guaranteed investment is minimal:
Rams' 1-year deal with former Titans WR Kenny Britt includes $550K guaranteed.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2014
There was interest from more than a few teams, but the 25-year-old finally settled on the Gateway to the West and the head coach who drafted him back in 2009.
On many levels, that makes sense—especially since Britt has been trying to recapture the momentum he established early in his career.
By Britt's sophomore season in 2010, he was emerging as one of the NFL's rising young wideouts. He reeled in nine touchdown catches that season, and his average of 18.5 yards per catch ranked seventh in the NFL among wide receivers with 40 or more catches.
However, his 775 yards that season would wind up as a career high.
In April 2011, Britt was arrested in New Jersey after a chase with police. In September that same year, he tore his ACL.
That was the beginning of a downward spiral that Britt has yet to recover from. There have been more injuries and run-ins with police than touchdown catches. By last year, even when he was healthy, he was barely used by the Titans.
Still, just a couple of weeks ago, Wyatt was opining that we may not have heard the last from Kenny Britt:
I could be wrong, but I think Kenny Britt still has a chance to make an impact n NFL. Definitely has the skills if knees allow it #Titans— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 14, 2014
More than one NFL team apparently agreed with Wyatt—at least to a degree. The New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks were all mentioned by Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio as potential suitors.
Still, Britt chose the Rams, perhaps at least partly due to Fisher.
Will Kenny Britt ever post a 1,000-yard receiving season?
Playing time may have been another factor. Yes, the Rams spent a high first-rounder on Tavon Austin last year, but they also struggled to get him open in the slot, where he's best suited.
Meanwhile, the Rams have run through a litany of outside receivers in recent years with limited success. It isn't hard to imagine a healthy Britt beating out the likes of Brian Quick and Chris Givens to start at the "X" receiver spot.
Britt still thinks he can be that guy, telling Wyatt toward the end of the Titans' regular season:
I am going to be a No. 1 receiver somewhere else if I am not here (in Tennessee) next year, and that is guaranteed. I am definitely going to be a receiver that makes plays on Sundays and makes something happen for a team.
Of course, it's been a while since we've seen a healthy Britt—at least for an entire season. Only once in his five NFL campaigns (his rookie year in 2009) has he played in all 16 games in a season.
The off-field troubles are a worry too. However, for what it's worth, Britt has kept his nose relatively clean of late. Wyatt points out that, in many ways, the past is just that:
Kenny Britt also isn't the bad guy some think he is. Granted, he made some silly decisions during days with #Titans, but a good guy— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 14, 2014
However, in some respects, St. Louis wasn't the ideal landing spot. The situation under center in St. Louis isn't exactly Seattle or New England, and Sam Bradford has battled health issues as well.
Still, it's not a bad situation by any means. Britt will be playing for the coach who coaxed his best seasons from him and, assuming his knees hold up, he should get the opportunity to start outside for the Rams.
If Fisher can get anything close to what Britt produced in Tennessee, both sides will be big winners in this deal and Britt won't be signing another one-year deal a year from now.