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Patriots postseason hero Danny Amendola announces his retirement

Related: Ex-Patriot Rob Gronkowski announces retirement from the NFL, again

AFC Championship - Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There’s a handful of professions where you kind of have to feel for them, because the minute they show up for work, everyone’s already mad at them.

Printer techs. Auditors. The I.T. guy, if you can ever actually even get ahold of them. Lately more than ever, HVAC repairmen.

For as beloved as he is now, when Danny Amendola got here in 2013 to replace local demigod Wes Welker, a whole lot of us were giving him the side-eye when he joined the New England Patriots in 2013.

All that is to say, he arrived on the Patriots knowing full well he had some big (figurative) shoes to fill, and while I’m sure we’ll be spending more time this week reminiscing and paying tribute to his career, when Amendola left New England in 2018, he’d racked up the most elusive prize in football. Twice.

On Monday, finally, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that Amendola was, after 13 NFL seasons, hanging up his spikes and calling it a career.

A former rookie free agent out of Texas Tech, Amendola entered the league in 2008 and arrived in New England five years later after Bill Belichick signed him for five years and $31 million.

(That sounds like pocket change in today’s dollars, but keep in mind that at the time, the NFL salary cap was a wee $123 million. And to really hammer the point that the Patriots bet big on Amendola being the Guy and not a Guy, the aforementioned Wes Welker had played the 2012 season under the franchise tag — which is an average of the top-five salaries at the position — for the princely sum of... $9.4 million. Belichick, to borrow one of his phrases, backed up the Brinks truck. As much as he ever will for a wide receiver, anyway.)

Fast forward nine years and Amendola ends his career having played 163 regular-season games and 13 playoff games, hauling in 617 receptions and 57 playoff catches for 6,212 yards and 709 playoff yards, respectively. He scored 24 regular-season touchdowns and, crucially for the Patriots, six postseason scores against some of the gnarliest defenses in NFL history.

Perhaps more importantly, he transformed himself from his reputation as an effective, but oft-injured second or third option to a second or third option that you could be absolutely sure would get you a bucket when you needed it most.

Like this:

And this, from the same glorious Super Bowl run:

And doing his job in the greatest comeback in professional sports history:

And of course, helping the Patriots punch their ticket to their third Super Bowl in four years with gotta-have-it-or-we’re-going-home grabs like this:

AFC Championship - Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Also, for those who enjoy such things, DA ended his career at 46th all-time in postseason receiving yards and tied for 29th in playoff receiving touchdowns. Amendola’s six playoff receiving touchdowns put him just one ahead of another highly productive postseason legend you probably have a jersey for: Julian Edelman.

He bid farewell to his legions of fans on Monday night with a short video on Twitter:

Among the quotes in that clip:

“I’m going to have no regrets, because I’ll know I went all-out.”

No lies detected.

Enjoy retirement, Danny.

(also, if we don’t get a sequel to the best buddy-cop movie of all time, we riot)