Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE
Breaking down the Danny Amendola signing further with five additional thoughts on the move.
1. Patriots Valued Amendola More than Welker: The five year, $31 million deal, with $10 million in guarantees, signifies that the Patriots simply valued Danny Amendola more than Wes Welker. The Patriots chose not to counter Denver's offer to Welker. They saw him as the plan B and Amendola as the plan A. While some will label Amendola as a "Welker replacement," it's clear the Patriots believe they're getting an upgrade.
2. Amendola will Play in the Shadow of Wes Welker: This is unfortunate, somewhat unfair, but also true. No matter what role Danny Amendola plays, no matter how productive he is on the field, he'll likely never be able to escape the Wes Welker comparisons. Part of the reason is because of his background and style of play, and part of the reason is because of the way that this all went down.
3. Amendola Not a Welker Clone: While Amendola may never escape the Welker comparisons, and may always be labeled a "Welker clone," that's not who he is. Amendola stands about an inch and a half taller than Welker at close to 5'11". He's a more explosive athlete, and is better in the open field at this point in his career. He's also shown a better catching radius than Welker. Of course, he's had an extensive injury history and has never produced a single 1,000 yard season. Certainly, more tape will need to be evaluated before making any other statements on the Welker vs. Amendola comparisons. One more note: Amendola has shown that he can be an explosive kick returner, not just a punt returner as Welker was for most of his Patriots career. That skillset could also affect the Patriots decision whether or not to pick up a return specialist such as Joshua Cribbs.
4. Amendola's Injury History: As you will also probably hear 1,000,000 times over the next several weeks and months, Danny Amendola has somewhat of an extensive injury history that could be a reason for concern. He had an ugly dislocated elbow injury that cost him all but one game in 2011, and had various shoulder and ankle injuries in 2012 that caused him to miss five games. Were these injuries a fluke? Or is Amendola, as some would call it, "fragile?" Time will certainly tell, but it's a calculated risk by the Patriots.
5. Devil, or Beauty is in the Details: We know the total figures of the Amendola contract: 5 years, $31 million, $10 million guaranteed. But we won't truly know the nature of this contract until we see the final breakdowns of the guaranteed money and the year-by-year base salaries. Could Amendola's deal have most of the guaranteed cash up front? That could, for example, essentially make the deal a two year pact that the Patriots could essentially "renew" if they like what Amendola has brought to the team. Is that "guaranteed" figure for both skill and injury or only skill? Perhaps the Patriots wanted to build some protection into the contract because of Amendola's injury woes.