Danny Amendola would have a role with Patriots in 2017. (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)
As it stands now, Danny Amendola likely won’t be back with the Patriots in 2017 considering he is on the books for a base salary of $6 million and the team likely would release him.
But, as Amendola has done each of the last two seasons, the wide receiver could take a pay cut in order to play for the Patriots next year and it would make sense for both sides to make this happen.
Amendola is 31 years old and has only played a full season in two of his nine years in the league, but when he has been on the field with the Patriots, he’s been a valuable asset, especially in the playoffs.
Just look at what Amendola did in Super Bowl LI when the Patriots needed him most.
Playing in his home state, Amendola caught eight passes on 11 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown, as well as converting the second two-point conversion to force overtime. Also, look at what he did in 2014 when the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. He hauled in five passes for 48 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown to help beat Seattle.
Over the last three seasons, Amendola has caught close to 70 percent of the passes thrown his way, which is among the top five among NFL receivers, and always seems to make a big play when the team needs one on third down.
Bottom line with Amendola is when the Patriots and Tom Brady need a play, he always seems to make one.
The Patriots typically carry five receivers on their 53-man roster and Amendola deserves to be one of those five, likely as the fifth. Going into 2017 the Patriots will have Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell definitely returning and then likely two open spots. New England probably will add a younger receiver either through the draft or via free agency, and then Amendola would make the perfect fifth.
He could have a similar role to what he did this season coming in mostly on third downs and with his connection with Brady, be available to make clutch plays. Also, it benefits him that he has experience returning punts because the team likely won’t want Edelman in that role for the whole season next year and the team saw what happened once Amendola got hurt this year.
From Amendola’s perspective, he’s been in the league nine seasons and has made a good amount of money. Not many teams will be willing to take a chance on him given his injury history and he seems to enjoy New England playing for Bill Belichick and being around Edelman, one of his best friends. At 31 years old, being in a comfortable place likely means more to him than making more money.
If Amendola wants to return to the Patriots on a new contract, the Patriots would be making a bad choice if they didn’t take him.