Pats Fill Void With Amendola
The Patriots have replaced Mr. Consistency in Wes Welker with Mr. Inconsistency in Danny Amendola. Just after Welker signed with the Denver Broncos Wednesday, the team announced that they had signed the injury-prone wideout to a five-year deal worth $31 million. If you do the math, Amendola’s $6.2 million per season is $200,000 more than what Welker will be making in Denver.
It was reported that the 27-year-old Amendola will be guaranteed $10 million of the $31 million that his deal is for. He has shown flashes of greatness during his time with the Rams, most notably in 2010 when he caught 85 balls for 689 yards, both of which are career-highs. Last season, he hauled in 63 balls for 666 yards while playing in only 11 games.
It had been assumed all along that if the Patriots were unable to resign their star pass catcher that they would be interested in signing the another Texas Tech product to replace him. In four seasons in the NFL, Amendola has caught 196 passes for 1,726 yards and just seven touchdowns. Welker’s had seven or more touchdowns three times in his career.
In 4 NFL seasons, Amendola has played in all 16 games only once and has missed 21 total. Welker has missed just three regular-season games in his eight-year career and his worst season in New England was better than Amendola’s best with the Rams. Though he did emerge as a pretty reliable pass catcher last season and did satisfy his fantasy owners while he was healthy, Amendola is certainly no Welker and though it likely got personal between the two sides, it is a shame they couldn’t have worked something out.
Remember one thing though. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can take any average player and make him great. Case and point: Welker. When he arrived in Foxboro in 2007, he was nothing close to the All-Pro he left as yesterday. Hopefully they can do the same with Amendola. One thing they have on their side is that Amendola is familiar with Josh McDaniels‘ offense. The pair have worked together before in 2011 when McDaniels spent the year as an offensive assistant in St. Louis.
Like Welker, Amendola is useful in the slot, but also has big play capability. Assuming the Pats bring back Julian Edelman, Amendola may be needed to make some more of the plays downfield. He also has similar quickness and the ability to elude defenders. Since 2009, however, Amendola has averaged just 4.7 receptions per game to Welker’s 7.4 and, as mentioned, missed 20 more games.
Though much of Pats Nation may not be too excited, Amendola had this to say via Twitter following the announcement of his new deal: ” @DannyAmendola: Blessed. Thankful. Excited to get to work. Go Pats.”
Follow me on Twitter @RealAndyLarmand.