FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots released veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt on Wednesday.

Despite losing Danny Amendola in free agency and knowing Julian Edelman will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, the Patriots let go of the 29-year-old Britt, who was with his fourth team. New England also had released Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell from its receiving corps.

Britt spent the first five of his nine pro seasons with the Titans, then played with the Rams for three years, and both the Browns and Patriots last season. He caught two passes in three games for New England after joining it in December. He did not dress for any of the postseason games.

The 30th overall draft pick in 2009 hurt his hamstring in June during minicamp and barely was a presence in training camp for New England this summer.

Over the last few weeks, Britt has been on the field for practice, but his participation level was always limited. Even on Monday, when Britt was going through a position drill, he needed to call over a staff member to stretch out his right hamstring. He spoke with the media on Sunday and admitted that he felt behind his teammates.

“Definitely feel like I’m behind,” Britt said. “Because I’m not out there with the guys getting the chemistry that I need with the quarterbacks and just with everybody on the same page with what we do.”


Britt’s inability to stay on the field this offseason limited his training time with quarterback Tom Brady during camp.

Britt was released by Cleveland last year and signed with the Patriots late in the season. He caught two passes for 23 yards in three games, and was inactive for all three playoff games.

Tom Brady is breaking in a new helmet this exhibition season, yet another sign the 41-year-old quarterback is planning to play in 2019.

Brady’s old helmet is among the models being phased out by the NFL because tests showed it is not as effective at protecting against concussions. The new rules take effect next season, but Brady used a compliant helmet in last week’s preseason game against Philadelphia instead of the one he has had through most of his career.

Brady says he’s still tweaking the new model to make sure the mask allows for the same comfort and peripheral vision he’s used to.

The most visible difference for fans is that it has a panel in front instead of solid plastic.


GIANTS: The next time Saquon Barkley carries the ball in a game may very well be the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The No. 2 overall pick in the draft returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since straining his left hamstring more than a week ago. The halfback took a few handoffs and caught a few passes in situational drills as the Giants prepared for Friday’s annual preseason game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Nothing was full speed. There was little hitting, if any.

Coach Pat Shurmur refused to say whether Barkley will play Friday, but his chances seem remote after being off the field since Aug. 13.

“We’re going to be smart,” Shurmur said.

Barkley wants to play. He also knows hamstrings can be tricky injuries. His goal is to be ready when called, whether it’s this week, next week, or the season opener on Sept. 9.


“Personally, the way I feel, my body feels, I’ll be honest, I feel good, feel pretty good,” Barkley said. “I’ve been moving pretty well, but that’s what the trainers get paid for. They tell me stories all the time and I talk to other guys, even guys like (Odell Beckham Jr.) that hurt their hamstring before. It’s when you feel 100 percent and that’s when you give it that push, boom, and it happens again as a setback.”

A hamstring injury caused Beckham to miss the first four games of his rookie season in 2014.

Barkley was impressive in the preseason opener against Cleveland, taking the opening handoff and running 39 yards to help set up a field goal. He did not play against the Lions last Friday after being hurt four days earlier. His only other opportunity to play would be against the Patriots in the preseason finale on Aug. 30. Most coaches don’t use their starters in the final preseason game.

THE NFL Competition Committee has recommended not making any changes to the helmet rule approved by owners in the offseason, which means instant replay use for officials will not be instituted for such calls.

After a conference call Wednesday, football operations chief Troy Vincent noted there would be no alterations. Vincent said the feedback after two weeks of preseason games was reviewed and “the committee resolved that there will be no changes. ”

Vincent added that as players, coaches and officials adjust to the rule, the league will provide more feedback and examples of incorrect calls. Players on both sides of the ball have expressed confusion about the rule that prohibits lowering the helmet to make contact anywhere on an opponent, and also are concerned that officials can’t be consistent with such penalties.


COWBOYS: Dallas center Travis Frederick said he has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that causes weakness in various parts of the body, and the four-time Pro Bowl player isn’t sure on a timetable for a return.

Frederick said he has had two treatments for Guillain-Barre Syndrome over the past 48 hours and that treatments will continue for several days.

COLTS: An off-the-air racial slur prompted the immediate retirement of longtime Colts’ radio voice Bob Lamey, team officials and Lamey’s attorney confirmed.

Attorney James Voyles issued a statement acknowledging Lamey used “inappropriate” language during a conversation with a friend at a local radio station and apologized immediately.

A report on a local television’s station website,, claimed an employee at Emmis Communications heard the comment and reported it to the radio station’s human resources department, which then contacted the Colts.

JETS: New York released kicker Cairo Santos, a day after claiming Jason Myers off waivers from Seattle.

PANTHERS: Former defensive end Charles Johnson has announced he’s retiring from the NFL.

Johnson played in more games (143) than any Carolina defensive lineman. He spent 11 seasons with the Panthers, recording 67 sacks, 20 forced fumbles and 12 multi-sack games before being released by the team in February.

A third-round draft pick in 2007 out of Georgia, Johnson became a full-time starter in his fourth season and posted 11 sacks in 2010. He went on to record 52 sacks from 2010-14.

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