BEREA, Ohio--To many fans, the signing of Kenny Britt and the subsequent loss of Terrelle Pryor is a step back for the Browns.
However, statistic-wise, it might not be much of a difference.
But who got the better end of the deal?
Britt, 28, had his first 1,000-yard season in his eight-year NFL career with 68 receptions for 1,002 yards (14.7 avg. ) and five touchdowns.
Pryor, who will turn 28 on June 20 had 77 receptions for 1,007 yards (13.1 avg.) with four touchdowns in his first full season as a wide receiver.
The Browns signed Britt to a reported four-year, $32.5 million contract, including $17 million guaranteed. Britt was a first-round draft pick (30th overall) of the Titans in 2009. He has 309 career receptions for 4,881 yards (15.8 avg.) with 30 touchdowns in his eight-year career. Britt has over 680 receiving yards in five of his eight NFL seasons.
Meanwhile, Pryor spurned the Browns offer that was reported to be similar to what Britt signed and signed a one-year deal for $8 million with the Redskins.
It has been reported that the Browns offered Pryor a similar contract before free agency to what Britt received, but pulled the offer after free agency started and signed Britt.
It's hard to fault the Browns for signing Britt if they didn't know if Pryor would return or not. It would've been more palatable for Browns fans if Britt would've been signed as another possible playmaker to go with Pryor, but that's not the case.
Britt was asked if he feels he needs to fill Pryor's shoes.
“I’m not filling in anybody’s shoes," Britt said on a conference call Friday. "I have my own shoes to fill to tell you the truth and walk around in. Whatever he did here was on him, and good luck to his career and his success that he had here, but right now, it is moving forward. We have the players that we have here and who is going to be on the sideline that we are lining up with each other. That is our main focus is us and who is going to be here.”
Some feel Pryor's career as a receiver is on the rise, but Britt feels his career is on the ascension, as well.
“I hope the future is brighter, and it’s going to be here in Cleveland," Britt said. "I know that for a fact. I’m going to work 10 times harder than I ever have. Throughout my career, I have just been learning the bumps and the hills that you’ve got to get over, and I think I have passed through those throughout my career and my age right now. I had a great coach last year in (Eagles wide receiver coach) Mike Groh to help me grow and be a better receiver on the field on my route running.”
Right now, Britt is the only veteran on the receiving corps, who has played more than one season. As it stands now, Britt and the four players the Browns drafted last season (Corey Coleman, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton) are expected to form this year's receiving corps. The rookie receivers from 2016 combined for 58 receptions for 698 yards and three touchdowns. Coleman had 33 of the receptions and the three touchdowns.
The Browns also might add a receiver in free agency or draft one. Suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon is a wild card, as it is unknown if the Browns would even try to put him in the mix after the number of suspensions he's been through, if and when he's reinstated.
Britt said he'll do whatever is necessary to help the team.
“I’m going to be whatever they need me to be, to tell you the truth," Britt said. "I’m going to do whatever they need me to do. If it’s a leader, if it’s a follower, regardless of what position they put me in and what position or what role they ask me to play or come into is what I’m going to do.”
“They said they are going to get the problem fixed, and I believe that they will," he said. "Regardless of who is the quarterback or what is going to happen throughout the season and OTAs, my job is to make the quarterback look good. Regardless of who they have under center, it is my job to make him look good.”
Britt said he's looking forward to the Browns having stability at the quarterback position, but he's ready to work with Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Brock Osweiler--if he's still on the team--or whomever the team drafts in April.
“We are going to work with the guys we have now," Britt said. "We can only hope or wish. That’s not my decision of who they bring in or who they don’t bring in. Whoever is here is going to be here. Whoever is going to be here is going to be here to help us win a championship.”
Besides the money offered to Britt, he said he believes in what Hue Jackson and the front office are putting together with the Browns.
“To tell you the truth, a lot of things weighed in all the way from what was the best for my family and to the coaching staff," Britt said. "I [really like] Hue and the direction he has the program going. I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to be a part of the rebuilding and what they have going on.”