In 2007, St. Louis Rams WR Torry Holt gained 1,189 receiving yards. In 2016, Los Angeles Rams WR Kenny Britt gained 1,002 receiving yards. In between, no wide receiver topped 800 in a single season.
Heck, outside of Holt and Britt, no other receiver even topped 700.
The Rams’ offense has been so bad for so long that developing a quality wideout has been an annual failure, a shared responsibility between numerous parties.
Now with Head Coach Sean McVay set to remake the Rams’ offense with franchise QB Jared Goff at the helm, one of the first decisions facing McVay and General Manager Les Snead is whether or not to pursue re-signing Britt. Even if they do, there’s no certainty he’ll remain with the team.
As ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez insinuates, there’s no certainty involved in the negotiations as “chances are” Britt walks:
The veteran receiver is coming off his first 1,000-yard-receiving season, which was also the Rams' first since 2007, and will now be an unrestricted free agent. Chances are that the Rams, now under the direction of the offensive-minded Sean McVay, will move on. They'll prioritize other targets in free agency, perhaps the likes of DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Kenny Stills and the real prize, Alshon Jeffery. Britt may be better off moving on, too. He's an eight-year veteran, coming off his third season with the Rams, and may want to pair with a more established quarterback than Jared Goff.
That’s from a list of players who “need a change of scenery” compiled among ESPN’s team bloggers. That’s an update from the group’s list of “biggest upcoming free agents” for every team in which Gonzalez tabbed Britt for the Rams:
The 28-year-old picked a good time to have his first 1,000-yard receiving season. Now he'll enter a free-agent market highlighted by Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson at his position. The Rams severely lack talent at receiver and don't have a true vertical deep threat outside of Britt. They'll probably try to bring him back, regardless of who the general manager becomes. But they will not overpay. Jeffery and Jackson would be more appealing to them, and they also have needs elsewhere, especially along the offensive line.
ESPN’s Field Yates followed up on that piece today with his own take (insider required):
In 2016, Britt quietly completed the first 1,000-yard receiving season of his career. The 28-year-old has always had natural physical tools, but inconsistent play has been an issue. That's why it makes sense for the Rams to bring Britt back on the team's terms. He's not enough of a needle-mover for the team to overextend itself, especially as it rebuilds the roster under new coach Sean McVay.
Verdict: Draw the line with a modest offer.
Britt, along with CB Trumaine Johnson who is coming off of a franchise tagged one-year deal in 2016, presents the most pressing issue for McVay and Snead heading toward free agency as it opens on March 9. With plenty of other Rams hitting the market, the next couple of weeks will give us the first indication of where McVay’s priorities lie in remaking the offense.
Their efforts to re-sign Kenny Britt will be chief among them.