BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots made a handful of roster moves on Wednesday, making room for new wide receiver Kenny Britt.
The Patriots officially announced the signing of Britt (though terms were not disclosed), as well as the re-signing of defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois. To make room on the roster, New England released linebacker Jonathan Freeny and wide receiver Bernard Reedy.
The Patriots also announced that offensive lineman Marcus Cannon has been placed on Injured Reserve. That creates a roster spot for tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is returning from his one-game suspension.
Bringing in the 6-foot-3 Britt gives Tom Brady a bigger target in the passing game. He had 18 receptions for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns this season before being released on December 8, but has 113 NFL games under his belt with 327 receptions for 5,114 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career.
Freeny’s second stint with the Patriots lasted just one game, as the veteran was brought back for New England’s Week 14 loss in Miami to provide some depth at linebacker with Kyle Van Noy sidelined with a calf injury. His release could be a sign that Van Noy is ready to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Jean Francois appears to be this week’s depth move, with defensive tackle Alan Branch’s status unknown leading up to Sunday’s pivotal matchup in Pittsburgh. Branch, a key cog along the defensive line, left Monday night’s game with a knee injury. Jean Francois was signed in early November and appeared in three games for the Patriots, making three tackles, but was released on December 2.
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