The New England Patriots made several roster moves days before their crucial AFC clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots announced on their official website that they have signed wide receiver Kenny Britt and brought back defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois. To make room for Britt and Jean Francois, the Patriots released recently-signed linebacker Jonathan Freeny and wide receiver Bernard Reedy. The Patriots also placed offensive lineman Marcus Cannon on season-ending injured reserve after missing the past five games due to an ankle injury.

The moves came days before the Patriots (10-3) clash with the Steelers (11-2) with the best record and the No. 1 seed in the postseason on the line.

Patriots officially add wideout

The 29-year-old Britt played nine games for the Cleveland Browns this season before he was released on December 8. During his stint with the Browns, he caught 18 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. A first-round pick by Tennessee in 2009, Britt played for the Titans from 2009 to 2013 and the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams from 2014 to 2016. After an outstanding season with the Rams where he caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns, Britt signed a four-year, $32.5 million deal with the Browns, including guaranteed money amounting to $17 million.

However, he failed to duplicate his performance from his last season with the Rams, forcing the Browns to part ways with him. In 113 games, with 76 starts, Britt tallied 327 catches for 5,114 yards with 32 touchdowns.

The 31-year-old Jean Francois was earlier signed by the Patriots to the 53-man roster on November 7 and played in three games as a reserve, tallying three tackles before he was released on December 2.

Before signing with the Patriots, Jean Francois played six games for the Green Bay Packers before he was released on November 1. Jean Francois, a seventh-round pick by San Francisco, he played for the 49ers from 2009 to 2012, the Indianapolis Colts from 2013 to 2014 and the Washington Redskins from 2015 to 2016.

Linebacker lasted just one game with the Patriots

The 28-year-old Freeny was signed by New England to the 53-man roster on December 6 and suited up in their 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins, recording two tackles. Freeny played for the Patriots in 2015 and 2016 before he was cut after training camp on the final cut-down on September 2. After his stint with the Patriots Freeny appeared in three games with the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars this season. In 19 games with the Patriots, Freeny tallied 55 total tackles. The 26-year-old Reedy played two games for the Patriots as a returner since he made it to the 53-man roster.