After a rather lackluster 2013 season in his first year with the New England Patriots, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Danny Amendola released from the team prior to the official start to the 2014 NFL season—which will kick off on March 11.
According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, Amendola’s roster spot could be in danger.
Currently, the 28-year-old is playing under a five-year deal, which he signed last season, worth $28.5 million—$10 million of which is guaranteed. If Amendola is on New England’s roster come 4 PM ET on March 11, the day that free agency starts, then New England will have to cough up $2 million of his guaranteed $3 million for 2014.
Per Volin’s report, New England could end up designating Amendola as a post-June 1 cut, which will allow the Patriots to use the money that they had saved to re-sign Julian Edelman.
Amendola’s first year in New England wasn’t horrendous; it just wasn’t all that impactful. Amendola appeared in just 12 games—as he lived up to his injury-prone stereotype—while reeling in just 54 receptions on 83 targets for 833 yards and only two touchdowns. Amendola was targeted just once in the AFC Championship game against Denver, and he dropped the ball.
New England learned that Edelman is a reliable slot receiver, as he recorded 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns; Amendola could very well not be viewed as a necessity by the Patriots anymore.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Patriots will cut ties with Amendola after just one season. Granted, this was a disappointing year for him. However, you simply cannot give up on a player after one year, especially when that player has a ton of potential. Am I saying that Amendola projects to be as productive as Wes Welker or as productive as Edelman was this year? No. I do believe that he can be a valuable asset for Tom Brady as the New England quarterback finishes the final chapter of his career.
Only time will tell.