Patriots sign WR Kenny Britt, Cannon to IR

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots have beefed up Tom Brady's receiving corps for this week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, adding veteran Kenny Britt.

They'll also get tight end Rob Gronkowski back after his one-game suspension. Also Wednesday, tackle Marcus Cannon was placed on injured reserve.

A second-team AP All-Pro last season, Cannon played in seven of the first eight games but missed the last five with an ankle injury.

Britt, a 2009 first-round pick out of Rutgers, was released by Cleveland last week in his first season after signing a four-year, $32.5 million contract in March. He appeared in nine games with four starts for the Browns, catching 18 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns.

But the Patriots' corps of wideouts is on the small side, and at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Britt gives Brady another big target to go with Gronkowski.

"He's a good guy, a joy to be around, always upbeat, always smiling ear to ear, a physical guy, obviously big-bodied guy," said Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, who also went to Rutgers.

"I'm excited for him (to have) the opportunity to come here and try to catch on," McCourty said. "Obviously, it's tough coming in at this point in the year, just trying to learn as much as possible and get out there."

Britt was plagued by dropped passes and penalties with the Browns. He was also sent back to Cleveland along with fellow wide receiver Corey Coleman in October for missing curfew while the team was in Houston to play the Texans.

"I've played against him. He's a pretty good receiver," Patriots defensive back Stephon Gillmore said. "I'm glad to have him on my team."

The Patriots also re-signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny and receiver Bernard Reedy were released to make room on the roster.


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