Many people thought that Danny Amendola was going to be a Wes Welker replicate when he was signed to play for the New England Patriots. Amendola had skills just like Welker and was familiar with Josh McDaniels. There was not much that could stop him, but somehow Amendola turned out to be a free agent bust in his first season with the Patriots.
First and foremost, Amendola was just outplayed by Julian Edelman. For one reason or another, Tom Brady simply threw Edelman’s way more. That eventually led to Amendola being benched until a couple of wide receivers ahead of him got injured.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Amendola fell behind Edelman was because Amendola was banged up a couple of times early in the season. Even though he technically played in 12 games, he was injured for at least two or three more games. That means Amendola truly played in nine or 10 games.
So Amendola suffered through the two I’s: injuries and ineffectiveness. He barely had any impact on games and was an afterthought until he lucked into playing time. Most Patriots fans would be justified in wanting Nick Caserio to re-sign Edelman while releasing Amendola.
The truth of the matter is that it will be nearly impossible for Caserio to release Amendola this offseason. That is because $2 million of Amendola’s $5 million salary is guaranteed for 2014. General managers almost never release a player that is due guaranteed money, so he will likely be back.
Amendola will have to prove himself if he makes it to next season. Edelman would likely be allowed to walk as a free agent because Amendola and Edelman cannot co-exist. If this happens, Amendola will be given a second (and likely last) chance to be the team’s primary slot receiver.
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.