After Danny Amendola signed a five-year, $28.5 million contract with the New England Patriots this past offseason, many football observers speculated that Amendola would be the next Wes Welker. Three quarters of the regular season have passed, and Amendola has far from lived up to the hype.
Through eight games played, Amendola has only caught 37 passes for 412 yards and two touchdowns. The first problem is that Amendola has only played in eight games, which has only further confirmed his reputation of being injury-prone. Even though the wide receiver has officially played in eight games, those who have watched the Patriots all season know that Amendola has spent quite a bit of time on the sidelines during those eight games.
There are two reasons why Amendola has been on a snap count, even in the eight games that he has played. Obviously one of those reasons is because he has suffered a couple of injuries, the most notable one being a groin injury that cost him three games and has limited his playing time through others. And though most observers might not know this, Amendola has sort of been benched.
Julian Edelman has already taken over Amendola’s role of the primary possession receiver, and the rookie duo of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have taken over the No. 2 wide receiver spot. Amendola is only on the field when Josh McDaniels decides to go with three-wide receiver sets. If McDaniels calls for sets with two wide receivers or less (two-tight end, I-formation, etc.), Amendola is nowhere to be found.
Things will not change unless Amendola starts making plays. He will continue to operate as the No. 3 wide receiver, which might force Bill Belichick to consider releasing Amendola in the offseason. If so, Amendola would turn out to be one of bigger free agent busts in Belichick’s tenure.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.