Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
I haven’t always been a huge Kenny Britt fan. When the Titans first drafted the relatively unknown receiver out of Rutgers in the first round of the 2009 draft, I wasn’t sure that I liked the pick. But by the 11th game of his rookie season, I was all in for Britt.
That game, of course, was the Titans’ home contest against the Cardinals when Vince Young led the Titans 99 yards in the game’s final minutes to throw the game winning touchdown to Britt as time expired. From then on, my love for Britt only grew until it finally peaked in 2011. Two games into the 2011 season, Britt had an incredible 14 catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Then, in week three, Britt sustained a knee injury. That injury took him out of contention for the rest of the season and seriously limited his production in 2012.
And now, here we are in 2013. It is no secret that Kenny Britt is in a contract year, but two games into the season, the fifth-year wideout has only five catches for 43 yards. To put that in perspective, there are three NFL fullbacks with more receiving yards. That kind of production does not justify the kind of contract Britt is likely to demand this offseason.
Before the season started, I was a huge proponent of the Titans keeping Britt at almost any cost. At the very least, I wanted the Titans to give him the franchise tag to keep him around for one more year. According to ESPN.com, a franchise tag on a wide receiver costs $10.537 million this year. Next year, that number will likely be pretty similar, but Britt is not playing like he deserves $10 million next season.
To make matters worse, Mike Munchak told Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean that he benched Britt last weekend against the Texans “to refocus him” after Britt got a key holding penalty for the second week in a row. In response to his benching, Britt took to twitter and tweeted this Tuesday afternoon:
He, of course, is referencing the Titans perceived “mishandling” of former tight end Jared Cook last season. Tennessee ended up letting Cook walk and he has since signed with the Rams. In his first game in St. Louis, Cook recorded seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
I would hate to see Britt leave Tennessee and find success somewhere else, but it seems that is inevitable. Neither side seems happy with the arrangement right now and Britt simply has not fit into the Titans’ game plan and play calling so far this season, as Tennessee has thrown the ball a league-low 50 times.