Pats WR Depth Chart Rounding Into Place
The Patriots made a smart if not totally unexpected move on Friday when they reworked the contract of wide receiver Danny Amendola for the second year in a row. That will keep Amendola in Foxboro for the next two years and will allow QB Tom Brady to keep one of his most trusted wide receivers.
That contract deal with Amendola by the Patriots puts to bed the annual talk over social media that the team is about the release the 30-year old wide receiver. Amendola gets about the same amount of love strangely enough in Boston as Jar-Jar Binks does with Star Wars fans.
Amendola was slotted to be paid $5 million dollars in salary with a $6.8 million dollar hit against the salary cap. Brady’s trusted wideout has agreed to a restructured, two-year deal that will pay him $7.35 million with another $750,000 available in bonuses and incentives for 2016-17.
“It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys,” Amendola said in an interview with Fox Sports Mike Garafalo who first broke the news. “We have one goal … to win another championship and that’s all we care about.”
It was a smart move by both parties to agree to a re-worked deal, for the Patriots it keeps one of Brady’s most trusted wide receivers in the fold for the next two years and for Amendola? It gives him a chance to play for a winner again, something that he’s obviously all about after reworking his contract again.
Danny Amendola returns to the Patriots with a two-year deal that keeps one of Tom Bradys favorite targets in the fold. (SBalestrieri photo)
Perhaps part of the ‘not-so-warm’ love for Amendola stems from the first contract he signed with the team in 2013 when it was widely reported that he was brought in to replace Wes Welker who had been an icon here. Those comparisons were unfair to both parties and tough wide receiver has certainly earned his stay in New England.
After agreeing to a pay cut last season Amendola caught 65 passes for 648 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the NFL in punt returns with a 12-yard average on 23 punt returns.
He made some sensational catches during the season, Week 2 in Buffalo going up high to snag a Brady pass that put the game away. Week 6 against the Jets doing the same thing along the sideline getting a key first down on a drive that culminated in a touchdown in a tough Patriots win.
Things really turned around for Amendola during the 2014 Super Bowl run, where he filled in at kick returner which got him involved and then caught 11 passes for 137 yards and three scores in three playoff games. Chris Price put a remarkable stat on Twitter Friday afternoon, Danny Amendola’s first 25 games with Pats (inc. playoffs): 68 catches, 805 yds, 3 TDs Last 24 games with Pats: 99 catches, 947 yds, 6 TDs.
His signing locks down another WR spot on the 53-man roster. With Julian Edelman, newly signed Chris Hogan, Amendola and 4th round draft pick Malcolm Mitchell as well as special teams’ maven Matthew Slater locks to make the roster, it narrows down the slots available.
Those five are roster locks at this point, and with the Patriots carrying six WRs in 2015 that leaves free agent signee Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Keshawn Martin, Chris Harper, 7th round draft pick Devin Lucien and DeAndre Carter all pretty much competing for one roster spot. Martin it should be noted was given a pay increase this spring.
Unless some gets hurt or comes down with a case of the “Foxboro Flu”, that will put the competition for the WR position firmly on areas to watch in training camp.
Our buddy Miguel from PatsCap.com put out that Mitchell, Lucien, Dobson, Harper, Carter and UDFA RB/WR D.J. Foster all have practice squad eligibility. Although I doubt Michell would sneak through waivers.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2016 Patriots Draft 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Aaron Dobson Bill Belichick Chris Harper Chris Hogan Danny Amendola DeAndre Carter Devin Lucien Julian Edelman Keshawn Martin Malcolm Mitchell Matthew Slater Nate Washington New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots wide receivers Tom Brady