When the New England Patriots lost Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos last season, they signed Danny Amendola to a nice contract in hopes that he could become Tom Brady's new safety net on the field. However, injuries kept Amendola off the field more times than on, causing other receivers like Julian Edelman to develop as a top threat. Now in the offseason once again, the Patriots may be ready to part ways with Amendola just a year after he was acquired.
Amendola signed a five-year, $28.5 million contract to replace Welker in the slot. He followed that contract up by tearing his adductor longus tendon in his groin in the season opener. The receiver never looked the same again. He finished the year with 54 catches for 663 yards and two touchdowns. To compare, Edelman who was working off a bare minimum contract, put up 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.
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According to NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, the Patriots are shopping Amendola to interested teams. Several franchises are looking for a receiver like Amendola and New England is hoping to capitalize before the upcoming draft. It has been assumed that the receiver's roster spot was in jeopardy. If Amendola is designated as a post-June 1 cut, the Patriots would save cap space on his large contract. While it might seem surprising to give up a potential big-time player after just one year, Bill Belichick was likely not thrilled by Amendola's disappearing act this season.
Plenty of teams will consider making a run at Amendola. The New York Jets are the first team to pop up on the radar. The team has been looking to rebuild their wide receivers corps. They plan on releasing Santonio Holmes and had both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper on their radar. However, both receivers re-signed to Philadelphia, leaving the Jets to look elsewhere. Amendola's contract does not work with the team's salary cap, but they could be in play.
The Indianapolis Colts are another team that would greatly welcome Amendola. The team has been keeping their eye on players like Eric Decker and Edelman. They might be interested in Amendola, but will be unwilling to give up draft picks for him considering the team is already short-handed in that area.
Other teams to consider would be the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants. Both teams are in need of big playmakers to reform their offenses. The issue in all of this will come down to what exactly the Patriots would be asking in return for Amendola. The receiver will not garner a first-round pick so New England should be wise in considering his worth on the market.