Jackson: There’s a roster spot for Britt
Kenny Britt, like each of his teammates, will be free to go wherever he chooses while the Browns are on their bye, and his job as wide receiver will be waiting for him when the team gets back to work Nov. 6.
Britt was healthy and in uniform Oct. 29 when the Browns played the Vikings in London, but Coach Hue Jackson chose not to play him. That led to speculation the Browns might be releasing Britt and eat the rest of the guaranteed money ($17 million in a $32.5 million contract), but that is not the plan.
“Yeah, there’s a spot for him on this roster,” Jackson said Oct. 30 on a conference call from the Browns’ facility in Berea. “I’ve played Kenny most games when he was healthy. He’s been out there. He’s been a starter. I just thought yesterday, I wanted to do something different, as I told him. I was very honest.”
DeShone Kizer had one of his better days as a Browns quarterback in the game with the Vikings, completing 18 of 34 passes.
But only six completions were thrown to wide receivers — two to Ricardo Louis, two to Sammie Coates, one to Rashard Higgins and one to Bryce Treggs.
The notion Jackson regards Coates, Treggs, Higgins and Louis as all being better than Britt has no connection to attention Britt was drawn from what he has done off the field, Jackson said. For example, Britt and fellow wide receiver Corey Coleman (Coleman is on injured reserve) missed curfew in Houston the night before the Browns played the Texans. Jackson ordered both players home early and fined them.
“If I knew that Kenny Britt was a negative influence on our football team, he wouldn’t be here,” Jackson said on the conference
call. “Everybody is going to have some issues from time to time. Obviously, his are well-documented.
“There are some games that he hasn’t played. There are some games where things haven’t gone as well. But hopefully, those things are not bleeding over into our locker room because I would not allow that.”
Britt was reportedly one of the players out with Kizer in a bar after 1 a.m. the Saturday before the Browns played the Titans in a home game Oct. 22. Britt was targeted five times in the game and caught two passes for seven yards. A pass thrown to him by Cody Kessler in Titans territory in overtime went through his hands as he went low to catch it.
Jackson said he was unaware of comments Britt made before the Browns headed overseas, bashing playing football in London. Britt, referring to a game
he played in London last year while with the Rams, told ESPN: “I hated London, hated it. I hated it with a passion. I hated everything about it. I hated the flight. I hated us being there so long. I hated the flight back. I hated the food.”
“I never even knew about those comments,” Jackson said on the conference call. “I don’t read much of what goes on, so I’m not really sure what you’re referring to.
“I didn’t see that, but I would hope that — obviously, he said it — but I would hope that he didn’t mean it that way. Obviously, he’s played over there with different teams, but he hadn’t played over there with our team yet. I’m not sure where that came from.”
The Browns don’t really have many options other than to keep Britt because the other receivers are so inexperienced.
The trading deadline is
4 p.m. Oct. 31. They could trade one of their 13 2018 draft picks to acquire another receiver. Nothing is imminent, but that doesn’t mean a deal won’t happen. On Oct. 31 last year they pulled a shocker by trading a third-round draft pick (103 overall) to the Patriots for linebacker Jamie Collins.
“We’re always looking to do (upgrade the roster),” Jackson said. “We did that a year ago. I’m sure we’re working hard to do that now. I think we’ll do anything we can that’s the right fit for us to upgrade our football team. There is no question about that.”
Britt, in his ninth season but first with the Browns, ranks seventh on the team with 10 catches. His 128 yards receiving ranks sixth.
The Browns will practice Oct. 31 and then be on their bye the rest of the week, Jackson said.
Kenny Britt stands on the sideline during a preseason game against the Giants. Coach Hue Jackson elected to not play Britt against the Vikings.