New England Patriots

If you’re expecting Danny Amendola to once again take a team-friendly deal to stay with the Patriots, you may be mistaken. And if you’re holding on to hope that the Pats keep him in the fold, his latest comments may concern you.

The veteran Patriots receiver has restructured his contract for three years in a row to make the financials work on the team’s side. But now he has the potential to hit unrestricted free agency coming off the best postseason of his consistently clutch career. He could have a chance to cash in.

And like fellow Tom Brady weapon Dion Lewis, Amendola is speaking publicly about his looming free agency and dropped the B-word.

“I definitely want to be here … to tell you the truth, I don’t want to leave. But, it’s a business,” said Amendola during a Q&A with students at Bryant University on Tuesday, via Yanni Kourakis on Twitter. “I’ve learned that the hard way.”

Amendola caught 26 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns in three postseason games in the 2017 season. So if another team was impressed enough to throw him guaranteed money that’s commensurate with the best slot receivers in the NFL – like the Lions’ Golden Tate at $16 million guaranteed – then he should absolutely consider taking a deal like that, since the Patriots won’t offer him nearly that kind of money.

However, Amendola made it to the playoffs healthy in the first place partially because the Patriots conserved him during the regular season. He played in 15 games but started just eight, and saw the field for just 49.9 percent of all Patriots offensive snaps. That kind of workload likely won’t earn him the kind of deal that the highest-paid slot receivers typically get anyway.

Amendola has earned $20.79 million over his 10 seasons in the NFL, according to Spotrac.

Danny Amendola catches a touchdown pass as he is defended by Tashaun Gipson #39 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter during the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The receiver’s comments at the Q&A don’t necessarily mean he’s ready to just go to the highest bidder, which is what Dion Lewis sounds like he’s preparing to do. You have to believe that Amendola truly does want to stay, and Brady almost certainly wants the team to do whatever it can to keep the trusted receiver around. But this year, he could see free agency offers outside of New England that are as tempting as any he’s seen in his career.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.