By Ron Leyba
Tennessee Titans 25-year-old wide receiver Kenny Britt will most likely hit free agency after a disappointing three year span from 2011-2013. In that span, Britt played in just 29 games, catching just 73 passes for 974 yards and seven touchdowns.
Once a highly regarded prospect, (drafted in the first round by the Titans in the 2009 NFL Draft) Britt has had a drop in production for the past three seasons after exploding onto the scene in his first two seasons. In 2009 and ’10, Britt caught 84 passes in 28 games for 1,476 yards and twelve touchdowns.
It was soon after that Britt began to have numerous off the field issues, including nine incidents involving the police in the past few years. Britt was benched early in the 2013 season due to his sluggish, almost lazy attitude when on the field. In 2013, Britt dropped a massive 21.2 percent of his targets and was flagged for six penalties, the most of any Titans receiver.
When asked about his future, Britt responded, “I really don’t have any plans of being back [next season]”. He has made numerous comments to the media regarding his issues with the team, some not so good, and it is almost certain he will be left to test free agency this March.
Britt believes he is still a number one receiver. Is that possible? Maybe, but he’ll have to start all over again (leaving the Titans) wherever he ends up. Nobody is going to slide a guy with Britt’s recent track record into the number one spot until he proves himself.
The Titans went 7-9 during the regular season, scoring 19 points less than they allowed. In other words, they were a ways off from being contenders in a division that is all but locked up by the Indianapolis Colts for quite a while. After an injury to quarterback Jake Locker, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in as the starter. In nine starts for Tennessee, Fitzpatrick went 3-6. Locker went 4-3 with a decent passer rating of 86.7.
If Tennessee can get everything rolling the right way, they could grab a Wild Card spot, but to be realistic, the Titans look to be at least a season or two away from the playoffs, as Britt is not the only player who could depart this off-season. Star (or former star) running back Chris Johnson (who averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in 2013) and wideout Nate Washington (who is unwilling to take a pay cut to stay with the Titans) might also leave Nashville. This would leave gaping holes in the Tennessee offense that would most likely not be filled adequately enough by next season to make a run at the postseason.
Should you pick up Britt as a fantasy sleeper in 2014? It depends on a lot of things, chiefly what team he ends up on, but Britt will most likely be a late round back up WR at the very highest in most leagues. Also look out for whoever the Titans pick up this off-season to complement RB Shonn Greene (28) in the backfield.