2013 NFL Free Agency: Patriots Ink Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola Patriots

Your new Patriots slot receiver – Danny Amendola. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The King is dead. Long live the King.

After six memorable seasons with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, inlcuding hundreds of catches, a couple of drops, and zero rings, Wes Welker is no longer wearing the red, white and blue.

Moving quickly to replace Tom Brady’s favorite target, the Patriots signed 27 year old former St. Louis Rams receiver Danny Amendola.

The Patriots were able to sign Amendola to a five year contract for $31 million – for an average of $6.2 million per year.

Amendola had a very productive year for the Rams in 2012, catching 63 balls for 666 yards in only 11 games. Amendola missed a few weeks due to a broken clavicle that nearly killed him. Amendola missed the majority of the season in 2011 due to a dislocated elbow.

The similarities between Amendola and Welker are obvious: undersized white Texas Tech slot receivers that return punts and just know how to get open.

Although Amendola is younger and seems to have more vertical speed than Welker, they will fill similar roles on the Patriots offense. Although Welker (7.7) and Amendola (7.8) similar average “depth of target” figures in 2012, look for Josh McDaniels to use Amendola to stretch the middle of the field vertically more than Welker, allowing Aaron Hernandez more space underneath.

This doesn’t mean I expect Amendola to be running “go” routes all day, far from it. Amendola has all the whip, jerk, stop and option routes that Welker had at his disposal, but over the last few seasons, his hands have been much more reliable. In fact, his drop rate was nearly 11% lower than Welker when lined up out of the slot in 2012 according to Pro Football Focus.

If the Patriots are able to add a reliable option at the X or Z receiver positions in the draft or free agency, Tom Brady should be operating at peak performance in no time.

If Julian Edelman isn’t resigned – I think he will be though – you could also see the sure-handed Amendola returning punts and kicks, although the Rams didn’t use him as much in those roles in 2012.

With another former St. Louis Rams receiver coming to the Patriots – Brandon Lloyd and Michael Hoomanawanui the others – you can definitely see Josh McDaniels’ influence on the targets that Brady will have at his disposal. That said, Brandon Lloyd could be on his way out of Foxboro by tomorrow if the Patriots don’t pick up his option.

Look for decisions on Julian Edelman and Brandon Lloyd to come down tomorrow.

The Patriots are always an interesting team to watch during free agency, and this year will be no different. I doubt this is the last day that will have Patriots fans scratching their heads.

We’ll have more analysis from the Welker side of this equation later tonight.

Tags: Danny Amendola, Free Agency, Wes Welker

23 Responses to “2013 NFL Free Agency: Patriots Ink Danny Amendola”

  1. Jim R says:

    Arrogance, this just might be the start of BB unraveling

  2. Patskrieg says:

    Amendola has 8 catches in his entire career for 20+ yards. Please reconsider that “vertical threat” idea.

  3. DaveM says:

    Danny will NEVER play a full season.

  4. Dxl says:

    I really wanted the pats to nab Avril, but didn’t think they would pay the money I thought he was going to get. He only got a 2 year deal for 15mil…..wtf!!! He is a young DE/OLB pass rusher that the pats could surely used. I think the pats are playing this market WAY to passive.

  5. J H TARBORO says:

    Like Lloyd, Amendola is Josh Mcdaniels move not BB move, we have FB too, Mcdaniels offense.

    • JV says:

      Agreed!! This should have all Pats fans worried. We all saw what Josh did in Denver…and now replacing a tough productive player with a softer than soft player.

  6. patsfan says:

    anybody know the cap hit this year on this? Wish they would hurry up and take care of the secondary and maybe a pass rusher. Also, we are still pretty light on receivers not to mention interior linemen.

  7. Vt Bill says:

    We’ll see if its a good deal or not. I hope so. But don’t go by the numbers. I’d expect a lot more distribution, with Gronk and Hernandez Healthy, and another WR drafted. 100+ catches is a lot of wear / tear on a slot guy at 190 lbs

  8. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like the move to Amendola, a more vertical threat, taller, younger and locked-up for 5yrs. BB will always think about the future for the Patriots, every move he makes, there is alot of thought but into it. The Draft will be the same. Look for Bill to sign Antoine Carson CB soon ! Also watch for him to pick-up WR Early Doucet.

    • big w says:

      I watched Cason twice this year could cover squiddly , get the young corner out of Pitts or DRC but Cason sucks. Doucet agood reciever and could be good in a short yardage game but still need a big reciever from draft like Dobson.

    • DaveM says:

      Amendola has averaged 2.6 yards per catch less than Welker since 2009. That is by no way a vertical threat.

    • DaveM says:

      Doucet is a real great signing. He averages less than 500yds a year 1TD a year. I guess Bill is shopping for free agents from the dollar menu now.

  9. Matt says:

    Bonehead decision! Amendola will not play more than 10 games this coming season giving half the production that welker did. Mark it down!

    He also has a cap hit of 6.2 mil per season. I would have rather resigned edelman or cribbs for small money and spent 8mil+ per season and gotten greg jennings. Huge mistake letting welker go for 6 mil per season for 2 years. Welker would still be on an elite level for those 2 years at very reasonable money and then you could have re-evaluated the slot position at that time. Now your committed to Amendola for 5 years. Bad move Bill!

  10. MaineMan says:

    If Amendola can produce, over the next five years, even 80% of what Welker produced over the previous five years, it’ll be all good – as long as the Pats also come up with a couple relatively dynamic, younger guys to work the X and Z spots.

  11. big w says:

    Listen they should have signed welker for the same as Amendola but whatever next should be sign Pollard, no farting around. Then get your tackle either vholmer or next in line. Then cornerback and get it done i think DRC but whomever.Then sign a cover linebacker and fill a few holes that the draft wont.

    • MaineMan says:

      The Pats should sign Pollard and then send him to IR immediately, just to make sure he doesn’t injure any more Pats players.

  12. J H TARBORO says:

    Amendola better lift some weights and run some hills, for that kind of money be prepared to be the mule!

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Tavon Austin doesn’t sound that bad now. does it.

    • acm says:

      I think he can stand to gain 7-8 pounds of muscle to bulk up/solidify that frame. Shouldn’t affect his speed and explosiveness, imo.

      He is a solid WR, no diff than how Welker was before he got to experience Brady’s magic touch. Amendola actually has better hands and top-end speed than Wes. Only question mark I see with DA is his ability to stay on the field. Bulking up could help in that regard too.

  13. Kjb008 says:

    Sad to see welker go but this makes a lot of business sense. Amendola is locked up with the pats until he is 32 at only 6.2 mil per year. He adds a vertical threat that welker never had. Overall another smart move by BB.

    • DaveM says:

      Jesus, he averaged 2.6 yards less per catch than Welker. Where the hell do you guys get he is a vertical threat. Stop drinking so much friggin kool aid.

      • Billy C. says:

        Welker’s YAC is better but the point of the thread is to mention more speed and the possibility of stretching the field. I like the move and believe it’s time to turn the page on one heck of a run with Welker






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