While it was a pretty good bet Danny Amendola wouldn’t be playing for his projected $7.8 million cap hit, there was some question if the Pats would just decide it was time to cut ties with the 31-year-old receiver. Instead the Pats did decide they wanted the clutch player back and will restructure his deal for the third straight year to make it happen.
Source: Patriots WR Danny Amendola has agreed to a reduced contract for 2017. Was scheduled to make $6M. More details as they come.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 18, 2017
The other reason for pause prior to this announcement was that suddenly the Pats have an embarrassment of riches at the wide out position. Brandin Cooks was brought in this offseason via trade, while both Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan had very good seasons in 2016. Throw in vital component Julian Edelman and it’s easy to see how it could’ve made sense to move on from Amendola, especially when the diminutive receiver was kept on the bench for most of the 2016 season with his injuries being carefully managed.
But their handling of Amendola paid off in the playoffs. After grabbing just 23 catches in the regular season, he posted eight in the Super Bowl, including a critical third down conversion catch, a touchdown and the overtime-forcing two point conversion. Without Amendola the Patriots probably don’t win either of their last two championships.
Amendola is still a valuable utility player, but it’s his key catches in key moments that have defined his Patriots career since 2013. After going through the roller coaster of being the “Wes Welker replacement” to battling injuries, Amendola has carved out a valuable role on the Patriots. It’s a relief to know that while he might not be leaned on heavily early in the season, the team should be able to keep him healthy and ready for more clutch contributions in the playoffs.