Danny Amendola’s 2017 salary cap scenarios with the Super Bowl Champions

Miguel Benzan
February 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm ET

On February 19 ESPN’s Mike Reiss opined that the “receiver Danny Amendola, who won’t be back on his current contract, which calls for a base salary of $6 million”. Since Mike is so well-respected his projection took off on the Internet and we have been seeing a good numbers now on Danny Amendola. This blog will attempt to provide some background and then project what will happen. My blog will then end with its typical question and answers section.

BACKGROUND:

Original Deal:

In March 2013 Danny Amendola signed a 5-year deal $31 million deal with the Patriots. The deal included $10 million fully guaranteed (6 million signing bonus, 2 million 2013 salary, and 2 million of his 2014 3 million salary).  The deal contained $31,250 46-man active roster bonuses. Amendola’s original deal included $250,000 NLTBE (Not Likely to Be Earned) incentive for catching 90 passes and $250,000 incentive for catching 110 passes.

2015 Restructure:

In March of 2015 update Danny Amendola and the Patriots restructured his deal. His 2015 salary was lowered from $4 million to $1.25 million while Amendola was given a $500,000 signing bonus which was prorated over the 2015/2016/2017 seasons. Danny Amendola’s $500,000 receptions incentive was increased to $750,000. The $750,000 receptions incentive was tiered. Amendola had 65 receptions in 2015 while being active for 14 games.

40 catches for $150,000 – Earned
50 catches for another $150,000 ($300,000 total) – Earned
60 catches for another $225,000 ($525,000 total) – Earned
70 catches for another $225,000 ($750,000 total) – Unearned

Under the original deal Amendola could have earned in 2015 $4,500,000 in cash if he was active for 16 games. He ended up after earning most of his incentives he earned $2,712,500 ($1.25M salary, $500,000 signing bonus, $525,000 receptions incentives, and $437,500 in 46-man active roster bonuses). So Amendola ended up earning $1,787,500 less than the original deal.

2016 Restructure:

On May 10, 2016 the Boston Globe’ Ben Volin tweeted that the “Danny Amendola was supposed to have a $5m salary and $6.8m cap hit. New deal has $1.25m salary, $100k signing bonus and $250k per-game bonus”; “Amendola’s new deal guarantees him $1.35m, all this year. His 2017 wasn’t touched — $6m salary, $500k in per-game, $500k incentives, $0 gtd”; “His new cap number this year is $2,916,666. So #Patriots save $3.4m in cash and $3.9m in salary cap on Amendola” and “Amendola gets $25,000 per game active, but only up to 10 games”.

Before the 2016 paycut Danny Amendola’s 2016 cap number was $6,804,166 which consisted of a:
* $5 million salary
* $1,366,666 in signing bonus proration
* $437,500 ($31,250 per 46-man active roster appearance) roster bonus.

After the 2016 paycut Danny Amendola’s 2016 cap number became $2,916,666 which consisted of a
* $1.25 million salary
* $1,416,666 in signing bonus proration
* $250,000 ($25,000 per 46-man active roster appearance) roster bonus for a maximum of 10 games.

Under the original deal Amendola could have earned in 2016 $5,500,000 in cash if he was active for 16 games. After being active for 12 games he ended up earning $1,600,000 ($1.25M salary, $100,000 signimng bonus, and $250,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses). So Amendola ended up earning $3,900,000 less than the original deal.

2017 Current Structure:

After the 2015/2016 restructure/paycuts Danny Amendola’s 2017 cap number is now $7,791,668 which consisted of a
* $6 million salary
* $1,200,000 in 2013 signing bonus proration
* $166,668 in 2015 signing bonus proration
* $50,000 in 2016 signing bonus proration
* $375,000 ($31,250 per 46-man active roster appearance) roster bonus.

Danny Amendola's Deals Compared

Danny Amendola’s $7.79 million cap hit is currently the 4th highest on the 2017 Patriots and is the highest of Brady’s offensive weapons. PatsPulpit’s Brian Phillips does a great job of comparing Amendola to Edelman and Gronkowski.
Danny Amendola – $7,791,668
Rob Gronkowski – $6,618,750
Julian Edelman – $5,750,000
Chris Hogan – $2,968,750
Dion Lewis – $1,487,500
James White – $789,272
Malcolm Mitchell – $684,498
Rob Housler – $615,000
DJ Foster – $540,000
Matt Lengel – $540,000

The salaries of the below players are not counting against the Patriots salary cap because of the Top 51 rule
Glenn Gronkowski – $465,000
Devin Lucien – $465,000
Tyler Gaffney – $465,000

Danny Amendola’s $7.79 million cap hit is currently the 21st highest out of all wide receivers in the NFL. His possible cash intake of $6.5 million is also the 21st highest. I consider Amendola at best the 3rd best wide receiver on the Patriots and I do not consider him a number 1 wide receiver.

Hopefully, that is more than enough background.

Possible Scenarios

Cut or Trade Danny Amendola before June 1:

Amendola’s 2017 cap number would then decrease from $7,791,668 to $1,416,668 – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $6.375 million. Since a player with a $465,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $5,910,000 ($6.375 million minus $465,000).

Danny Amendola retires before June 1:

Amendola’s 2017 cap number would then decrease from $7,791,668 to $1,416,668 – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $6.375 million. Since a player with a $465,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $5,910,000 ($6.375 million minus $465,000).

Cut Danny Amendola before June 2 and make him a post June 1 designation:

That means the Pats would carry his $6 million salary and his $375,000 roster bonus on their books until June 2nd. On June 2nd he would be released. His 2017 cap number would then drop from $7,791,668 to $1,416,668 – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $6.375 million. Since a player with a $465,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $5,910,000 ($6.375 million minus $465,000).

Cut or Trade Danny Amendola after June 1:

Amendola’s 2017 cap number would then decrease from $7,791,668 to $1,416,668 – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $6.375 million. Since a player with a $540,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $5,835,000 ($6.375 million minus $540,000).

Danny Amendola retires after June 1:

Amendola’s 2017 cap number would then decrease from $7,791,668 to $1,416,668 – the rest of his signing bonus proration for a gross cap savings of $6.375 million. Since a player with a $540,000 salary would then take his place in the Top 51 list, the net cap savings for the Patriots would be $5,835,000 ($6.375 million minus $540,000).

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $6 million to $1.5 million:
This would lower his 2017 cap number from $7,791,668 to $2,916,668 for a cap savings of $4.5 million. If Danny Amendola is active for all 16 games, he will then earn $2 million in cash which is more than he earned in 2016 so one could look as this as a raise.

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $6 million to x million with a chance to recoup reduced salary by reaching NLTBE incentives (This is my preferred scenario)
Danny Amendola could agree to lower his salary and he would have the chance to earn the money back by reaching NLTBE incentives. The incentives could be for

  1. Receptions – Anything more than 23 receptions would be NLTBE
  2. Receiving Yards – Anything more than 243 receiving yards would be NLTBE
  3. Receiving TDs – Anything more than 4 receiving TD would be NLTBE
  4. Wins – Anything more than 14 wins would be NLTBE

These incentives could have different levels. One example is
250 yards – is worth $250,000
500 yards – is worth another $250,000 for a total of $500,000
800 yards – is worth another $500,000 for a total of $1 million

Another example would be to copy his 2015 receptions incentives tiers:

* 40 catches for $150,000
* 50 catches for another $150,000 ($300,000 total)
* 60 catches for another $225,000 ($525,000 total)
* 70 catches for another $225,000 ($750,000 total)

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $6 million while extending his contract by a year and giving Amendola a signing bonus

Example  – Lower Danny Amendola’s salary to $1 million while giving him a $1,000,000 signing bonus. His 2018 salary would be $2 million. His 2017 cap number would be lowered by $4.5 million. His 2018 cap number would be $2.5 million. I will be surprised if Amendola’s extension happens because I have heard on at least one podcast that Amendola is thinking of retiring this year.

Lower Danny Amendola’s salary from $6 million to $900,000
$900,000 is the lowest minimum salary for a player with Danny Amendola’s experience for a cap savings of $5,100,000. I doubt that Amendola would agree to such a drastic paycut.

Questions and Answers:

Q: What has been Danny Amendola’s average season with the Patriots?
A: 13.5 regular season games, 431 yards, and 2.5 touchdowns. In 10 postseason games Amendola has caught 31 passes for a total of 361 yards. 4 of his 31 postseason receptions with the Patriots have been for touchdowns

Q: Will the possible return of Michael Floyd play an impact in what happens with Danny Amendola?
A: No. Since
1. Floyd will be suspended for at least 2 games.
2. Injuries happen.
3. Not the same type of wideout
4. Danny Amendola is not worth up to 6.5m in cash for one year

Q: Do you know if any player has taken a paycut 3 straight years?
A: Not that I can recall. Then again, most paycuts also involve lowering future years’ salaries. That did not happen in 2015 or in 2016 with Danny.

Q: Do you think that Danny Amendola will get $6.5 million on 1-year deal from any NFL team?
A: I do not.

Q: Do you think that Amendola’s postseason performance is worth $6.5 million to the Patriots?
A: No, I do not. After his 2014 postseason the Patriots asked Amendola to take a paycut.

Q: Where does Amendola’s $7.8 million cap hit rank among the 2017 Patriots?
A: Fourth, after Brady, Solder, and McCourty.

Q: Did you expect the 2016 paycut?
A: Yes.

Q: What surprised you about the 2016 paycut?
A: The large amount. Had projected cap savings of between 2 and 3 million. Ended up being $3,887,500.

Q: Did anything else surprised you about the 2016 paycut?
A: Surprised that Amendola was not given a chance to earn back some of the money by reaching NTLBE (Not Likely to be Earned Incentives).

Q: How much was the paycut in 2015?
A: It ended up being $1,787,500 after factoring in the 2015 incentives he earned.

Q: How much is the paycut in 2016?
A: $3,900,000

Q: How much of Amendola’s 2017 cash is now guaranteed?
A: None.

Q: What is the maximum pay-cut that Amendola can receive?
A: Lowering Danny Amendola’s salary from $6 million to $900,000 –  the lowest minimum salary for a player with Danny Amendola’s experience along with eliminating his 46-man active roster bonus will result in a 2017 cash intake of just $900,000 for a cap savings of $5,100,000.

Q:  How did the 2016 pay-cut change Danny Amendola’s 2017 cap number?
A:  It increased it by $50,000 – the 2017 proration of his 2016 $100,000 signing bonus

Q: What would be the dead money hit if Amendola is cut or traded in 2017?
A: $1,416,668

Q: How much cap space would be created if Danny Amendola is cut or traded in 2017?
A: $6,375,000 (Gross). The net would be less depending on the salary of the player who takes Amendola’s spot on the Top 51 list.

Q: Do you expect Danny Amendola to be playing for the Patriots at his current cap number of $7,916,668
A: No. Expect that he will agree to a third paycut, retire or be released. If he does agree to a third paycut, expect his 2017 cash intake to be between $1.5 million and $1.75 million.

Q: How much was Danny Amendola scheduled to earn from 2013 through 2017 under original deal?
A: $28.5 million if he was active for every game.

Q: How much is Danny Amendola now scheduled to earn from 2013 through 2017 after his two paycuts?
A: $22,687,500, almost $6 million dollars less.

Q: If Danny Amendola retires, could the Patriots ask him to pay back his signing bonus?
A: They could but I highly doubt that they will.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, was on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that provided in 2015 the equivalent of 1,030,000 meals to hungry, homeless and isolated people. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages useful that if you are able to do so, please make a donation to the Bread of Life soup kitchen/food pantry.

You can make a donation below by clicking on the Donate button. Please mention this website by typing in Patscap’s Drive for Five in the Purpose Field or put putting Patscap in parentheses after your name.




Please mention this website by typing in Patscap’s Drive for Five in the Purpose Field.

You can have a portion of your Amazon.Com purchases donated to the Bread of Life.
You can learn how to do so by watching a YouTube video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eA-t4XxeOc

If you have any corrections, suggestion, questions, and/or comments, please feel free to ask me a question on the PatsFans.Com message board or email me at patscap at cox dot net

Please take me to the front Page of PatsFans.com.

DISCLAIMER: This site is strictly for informational and entertainment purposes, and is in no way affiliated with the New England Patriots or the National Football League. It also claims no rights to the trademarks of either the New England Patriots or the NFL

Comments


THE LATEST FROM PATSFANS.COM: