Danny Amendola has almost always been the epitome of the “Patriot way” by taking substantial pay cuts to remain in New England while then proceeding to make huge plays come playoff time. That’s what makes it so shocking to see him leave the Patriots for one of their rivals in the AFC East.
According to NFL Network’s Dan Hellie, the Dolphins are expected to sign Amendola away from the Patriots. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports and NFL Network reported that Amendola is signing a two-year deal worth $8.25 million guaranteed and $12 million with incentives.
Cue the outrage.
Aside from the added bonus of sticking it to the Patriots, the move makes football sense because, their 112-catch slot receiver, to the Browns. The Dolphins have addressed Landry’s exit and Amendola in free agency, two productive and cheaper players than Landry. It’s certainly not the worst way for the Dolphins to replace Landry. And again, the Dolphins probably couldn’t pass up a chance to burn the Patriots, who have made a habit of poaching receivers from their AFC East foes, like ex-Bills receiver Chris Hogan and ex-Dolphins receiver Wes Welker.
Here’s what they’re getting: Amendola is coming off a five-year run with the Patriots where he developed into one of Tom Brady’s most trusted targets when he was able to stay on the field. The biggest knock against Amendola is his inability to stay completely healthy, as he appeared in 69 of 80 possible regular season games with the Patriots. That and his age (32) are the two biggest reasons why this signing is no sure thing. It might work out, but signing older receivers with an injury history comes at a risk.
He’s been productive when healthy, though. This past season, he played in 15 regular season games and caught 61 passes for 659 yards and two touchdowns.
“Danny’s such a good football player,” Bill Belichick said after the AFC Championship game, per NFL.com. “When you look up ‘good football player’ in the dictionary, his picture is right there beside it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Fielding punts, third down, big play, red area, onside kick recovery — whatever we need him to do.”
In the postseason, he exploded for 26 receptions, 348 yards, and two touchdowns. He almost always has. Ultimately, that’s how he’ll be remembered in New England, as a playoff hero.
Remember when he trimmed the Seahawks’ lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX with this touchdown?
Remember when he trimmed the Falcons’ lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI?
Remember when he sent that game to overtime?
Remember when he caught two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of this past season’s AFC Championship game, the second of which featured an incredible display of footwork.
The only problem is that Amendola might not get a chance to make big plays considering he’s joining a six-win team that’s stuck in the same division as the Patriots. Hopefully, he doesn’t take any abuse from the Patriots’ fan base for his decision to join a rival. Afterto stay with the Patriots, he doesn’t deserve anything but admiration.