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NFL New England Patriots

New England Patriots: Is Danny Amendola the Next Wes Welker?

Danny Amendola St. Louis Rams

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL free agency in full swing, we have already seen teams breaking the bank to sign big names.

One of the biggest moves has been the Denver Broncos‘ signing of Wes Welker to a two-year, $12 million deal. Though the New England Patriots lost their star receiver, they were able to strike back with the signing of Danny Amendola to a five-year, $31 million deal.

Will Amendola be able to fill the gaping hole that Welker has left in New England? Lets take a look.

Though Welker now is considered a top receiver and was second in the league in receptions last season, many seem to forget his early years with the Miami Dolphins. Welker spent two forgettable seasons in Miami averaging one TD, 561 YDS and 48 REC.

Working with mediocre quarterbacks and limited playing time had an effect on his performance, but the Pats did see flashes of potential. It would take an elite quarterback in order to unleash his true talent. This was something that the Dolphins could not provide at the time, but exactly what led New England to make the trade.

It only took two draft picks to obtain Welkers services, and his acquisition has gone down as arguably one of the best trades in Patriots history.

The Brady and Welker combination had been one of the most dominant one-two punches in the league. Trading for Welker had not only elevated the Patriots by giving quarterback Tom Brady the ultimate offensive weapon, but also helped create the “star” status of Welker.

In six seasons with the Patriots, Welker had averaged six TD, 1243 YDS and 112 REC — a significant improvement over his years in Miami. Now, with Welker taking his talents to Colorado to play alongside Peyton Manning, can the same success happen with Amendola?

Amendola is not the most talked about name in the league, but had shown signs of potential in his four seasons with the St. Louis Rams. In those four years, he had averaged two TD, 432 YDS and 49 REC.

Like Welker, Amendola hasn’t had the best quarterback throwing to him over the years, which is the main reason why he has had poor numbers. He is also injury-prone, which is another key component for his diminished early success.

Signing with the Patriots will hopefully revive the career of Amendola, and give Tom Terrific another offensive weapon on the field.