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NFL Free Agency 2017: Kenny Britt big receiver Giants need?

Britt heads to free agency off best season of his career

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets
Kenny Britt
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Britt would seem like a natural target for the New York Giants in free agency.

The Giants could use a capable big-bodied wide receiver to complement Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, that’s something we have discussed a number of times. Britt is one. He is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound eight-year veteran with 309 career receptions. He is coming off his best season, a 68-catch, 1,002-yard campaign with the St. Louis Rams. He is a Bayonne, N.J. native who starred at Rutgers.

Why wouldn’t the Giants, in need of more play-makers to upgrade an offense that wasn’t good enough in 2016, pursue Britt?

Well, the answer to that begs yet another question. Why don’t the Rams, with the worst offense in the NFL in 2016, seem to care all that much whether or not their most productive offensive player last season returns in 2017?

With Britt, it’s complicated.

After a record-setting career at Rutgers, the Tennessee Titans made him their first-round pick in 2009, 30th overall. He spent five years there and never caught more than 45 passes. The Titans let him go after 2013, when he caught just 11 passes in 12 games. Britt also had some run-ins with the law during his time with the Titans.

Britt signed with the Rams in 2014, and has been there since. The 2016 season was his first 1,000-yard season and first time he had cracked the 800-yard mark. The 68 receptions marked the first time he caught more than 48 passes in a season. Britt, of course, accomplished that with Case Keenum and rookie Jared Goff throwing to him.

Before the 2016 season, Rams fans didn’t really seem to care one way or the other about Britt. The new Rams’ regime still appears to agree. He was drafted by former coach Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, then brough to the Rams by Fisher. Now that Fisher is gone, Britt might be, too.

What would the Giants get if they were to sign Britt? Can the Giants trust what they saw from Britt in 2016? Would they get the guy who was the Rams’ only reliable target a year ago, a player who finished eighth in the league in making receptions vs. tight coverage? Or, would they get the inconsistent player of his first seven seasons?

Spotrac estimates Britt’s market value at $6.7 annually, estimating that he could be looking at a three-year, $20 million contract in free agency.

Would he be worth that much to the Giants?

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