Patriots close to deal with troubled but talented WR Kenny Britt

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are close to an agreement on a two-year contract with free-agent wide receiver Kenny Britt, a league source tells ESPN.

Britt's agent wouldn't confirm the deal, but Britt -- who was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Friday and went unclaimed -- visited New England on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Britt, who played at Rutgers under Greg Schiano -- a close friend of Patriots coach Bill Belichick -- had 18 catches for 223 yards and two touchdowns in nine games for the Browns this year.

He had spent the first five seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans, who had selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Britt suffered a torn ACL early in 2011 and had made headlines with multiple off-field incidents that drew police attention.

He played for the Rams from 2014 to 2016, totaling a career-high 68 receptions for 1,002 yards in 2016.

The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Britt joins a wide receiver corps headlined by Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola, adding a taller, bigger target. Neither Cooks, Hogan nor Amendola tops 6 feet 1.

In 2014, the Patriots had hosted Britt on a free-agent visit, but owner Robert Kraft reportedly told the Boston Herald that because of off-field issues, "We won't be signing him. That won't happen."

By 2012, Britt, then with the Titans, had eight run-ins with police since being drafted by Tennessee in 2009. The majority were moving violations and traffic incidents. They included:

  • A 2012 arrest on charges of driving under the influence. He was found not guilty but was suspended one game by the NFL.

  • Four 2011 incidents that included warrants in Tennessee for inaccurate information on his driver's license application; an arrest at a Hoboken, New Jersey, car wash that involved suspicion of possession of marijuana; an arrest in Bayonne, New Jersey on charges of eluding police; and a criminal complaint filed for theft by deception for failing to pay bail promised for a friend.

  • Three 2010 incidents, one a citation in Tennessee for driving with a revoked license, one an arrest in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, for outstanding traffic warrants, and one involving a bar fight in which no charges were filed but he was later sued.