Ahhh yes. The drama is over folks. Nothing to see here. Just business time as usual for our Foxboro crew. With their business socks on.
(WTHF. I added a "Holy" in there cause of the whole Pope thing.)
As an outsider, who bleeds passion for his team, it is hard sometimes to look at it through a business lens. I tried my best to do that here. My thoughts:
1 - Emotionally, it sucks to lose a proven, marquee player (greatest receiver in franchise history) for what looks like 1 million a year. Just does. Especially going to Manning.
2 - (In my opinion) The negotiation breakdown was based on a game of chicken between the two parties. Two principles. The Patriots principle was to put a value on a position and stick to it. Buisness dictates their moves and this was JUST business. They pay a specific amount going towards the cap and did not want to rock the boat for a million more per year. The Patriots have always stuck to their guns and Welker's camp knows this. They took the Denver offer based on their principle that his perceived market value was greater than what the Pats offered. It seems unreasonable that they told the Patriots in their preliminary talks that it was 1 million more. Even if it was a measly one million per year, at the end of yesterday, the two sides didn't have that warm fuzzy "hometown hero" chip to tip the scales in his favor. It is BLATANTLY clear that it wasn't just the money. This played out as a result of the terse, unfiltered feelings that happens when two stubborn parties won't budge from their principles. The prickly relationship that BB had with Welker and his refusal to bend, just a little, for someone who enjoys "sticking it in his face" appears to be the main reason this didn't get done.
3 - Especially when you consider they gave the 6 million per year to someone else. Someone unproven. Untested.
4 - As for Amendola: The Pats are potentially getting a younger (albeit untested) version of Wes Welker. He is a bigger/stronger dude and just as quick. He also can be a stellar punt returner. Yes, he hasn't really done anything to prove his worth. His "injuries" were a broken collarbone and dislocated elbow. These are accident/freak injuries. If it were groin/hamstring type things, I would be worried. Those types of injuries don't reflect a players toughness. Additionally, coming from a crap team to a contending team can do WONDERS for your drive. And stats. Nothing like a hall of fame Quarterback throwing you passes to get you healthy and productive.
Consider the following when comparing the two receivers:
Wes Welker, in 47 games before joining New England, had 96 total receptions, 1 touchdown catch.
Danny Amendola, in the 42 games before joining New England had 192 total receptions, 7 touchdown catch.
5 - NEVER forget who runs this ship. It has and always will be this way with BB running the show. His team will live and die by what he thinks is best. Sometimes we don't get it (See: Brian Waters, Mankins Holdout, Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law). But we all won't be fitted for a yellow jacket the first time we are eligible. BB will. He is first ballot hall of famer and arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game. It's hard to argue with that. Even if it makes us sad.
PS - I will definitely miss the reliable little gremlin. If you want some more insight to what BB is thinking signing Amendola, watch this highlight reel of him at college. The block he lays in the beginning of the clip was on a 285 pound Defensive end. Surprised he didn't break his collarbone then. Maybe he plays Safety??