The Los Angeles Rams are set to hit another important marker of the offseason with the free agency period set to begin in just a week's time.
Following their decision on Wednesday to place the franchise tag worth $16.7 million on cornerback Trumaine Johnson, Los Angeles will shift their attention to their other key players that have the opportunity to become a free agent. One of which is veteran wideout Kenny Britt, who general manager Les Snead stated on Thursday will hit the open market next week, according to Buffalobills.com.
“Kenny should fit in any offense, but we do expect him to test free agency,” said Snead. “And I do know that we’re 32 in offense and we do need to improve. So we’re going through that right now in, hey, what type of skill does (head coach) Sean (McVay) need to get us better than 32.”
Britt is coming off his best individual season recording career highs with 68 catches and 1,002 receiving yards, which were both also team highs in 2016. He also became the first Rams' receiver to top 1,000 receiving yards since Torry Holt did so in the 2007 season.
The 28-year-old averaged 14.7 yards per catch, which was 11th best in the NFC and 18th in the NFL. Additionally, Britt was also just one of 12 receivers to haul in at least 11 receptions for 25 yards in the 2016 season joining the likes of Indianapolis Colts' T.Y Hilton, Oakland Raiders' Amari Cooper, New York Giants' Odell Beckham Jr., and Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown. In the last three years with the Rams, he is tied for eighth-best yards per catch (16.0) in the NFL over that span.
Britt's breakout year could very well push his asking price out of range that the Rams are willing to commit to paying him. Snead's comments also indicate that the team could simply look elsewhere for help at the position in free agency that may include Pierre Garcon, who played the last three seasons under Rams' new head coach Sean McVay when he was the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins.
On top of that, Los Angeles may be limited in their financial flexibility with Johnson's franchise tag taking up a significant portion of their expected $37 million in salary cap space. That said, it's becoming clear that the front office is quite open to the scenario of Britt signing elsewhere in free agency.