Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports

An overview of Kenny Britt's lengthy police record

Alex Reimer
December 13, 2017 - 1:11 pm

When the Patriots hosted wideout Kenny Britt for a free agent visit three years ago, owner Robert Kraft kiboshed the possibility of Britt signing with his team, presumably due to his lengthy arrest record. 

“We won’t be signing him,” Kraft said, per ESPN. “That won’t happen.”

It appears as if Kraft has changed his mind, with the Patriots signing Britt to a two-year contract Tuesday. The move adds needed depth to the Patriots’ receiving corps, which has been rocked with injuries this season. As WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable points out, Britt’s addition means receiver Malcolm Mitchell likely won’t be coming off injured reserve. 

Bill Belichick’s decision to bring Britt aboard is a classic low-risk signing, (somewhat) high-reward signing. The 6-foot-3 pass-catcher is now the tallest receiver on the Patriots, giving Tom Brady an enticing deep target. Last season, Britt caught a career-high 68 passes for 1,0002 yards with the Rams. He disappointed this year in Cleveland, however, only catching 18 balls for  233 yards and two touchdowns before getting released. 

A 2009 first-round pick out of Rutgers, Britt entered the NFL with lots of promise as a big play threat. But he generated far more headlines for his numerous run-ins with police than performance on the field. From 2010-2012, Britt was involved in seven incidents that required law enforcement intervention. In 2013, he refused to cooperate with police about a stabbing incident that involved one of his good friends. 

Britt, 27, has not been in trouble since. He’s appeared to straighten himself out. 

Still, Britt’s time in the NFL is a classic example of how off-field issues can derail an otherwise promising career. His abbreviated police record is below:

1/15/10: Arrested on three outstanding traffic warrants after being pulled over in New Jersey. Paid an $865 fine and was released from custody. 

8/4/10: Misdemeanor citation in Nashville for driving on a revoked license.

2/9/11: Two bail bonds accused Britt of not paying them bail money he promised for a friend who had been arrested the previous year. Britt wound up paying $12,500.

4/12/11: Arrested after car chase in hometown of Bayonne, N.J. A cop saw Britt speeding and charged him with eluding the officer, hindering apprehension and obstructing governmental function. Britt was driving 71 mph in a 50-mph zone. He pleaded guilty to careless driving and was fined $478. All other charges were dropped.

6/8/11: Arrested at a car wash in Hoboken, N.J. for resisting arrest, tampering evidence and obstruction. Police smelled marijuana while in line at the car wash and identified the smell was coming from Britt’s car. Police documents say Britt crushed what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette when law enforcement approached his vehicle. He also reportedly used his body to push away from officers. Eventually, Britt pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and was slapped with a $1,500 fine.

6/29/11: Surrendered to police on two outstanding warrants alleging he provided false information on driver’s license applications. He was briefly booked into a Nashville jail before posting a $2,000 bond.

7/20/12: Arrested for DUI at an army base in Kentucky. The NFL suspended him one game. He was found not guilty in the trial the following year.

1/14/13: Police wanted to question Britt following the stabbing of one of his good friends. Britt originally refused to talk to police and cooperate with the investigation. 

The Patriots' signing of Britt is reminiscent of their move last December to bring in Michael Floyd, who had been arrested for DUI days before New England acquired him. Floyd was a non-factor with the Patriots, catching four passes for 42 yards in two games. With Britt inking a two-year deal, it's apparent the Patriots are expecting more out of him. He seems to be in a different place than he was last time he visited the team, given his recent lack of citations or arrests. 

But man, that is quite a history.