Danny Amendola is leaving the Patriots, but staying in the AFC East. The free-agent receiver has agreed to sign with the Miami Dolphins, according to Dan Hellie of the NFL Network.
UPDATE: According to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, Amendola's deal is for two years and up to $12 million with $8.25 million guaranteed. So, no discount for the Patriots this time. Good for Amendola to maximize his payday with the opportunity put in front of him.
Amendola, 32, will best be known for his playoff performances in his five seasons with New England. He heads to Miami coming off the best postseason of his career in 2017. He made 57 catches for 709 yards and 6 touchdowns in 13 career playoff games with the Pats, including 26 for 348 yards and 2 scores in his most recent 3 games.
The Patriots still have receivers Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Cody Hollister, and Riley McCarron under contract for 2018.
Losing Amendola has a minimal effect on the Patriots offense - in the regular season. Amendola never saw more targets over a full season in New England than the 87 he got in 2015. The Patriots made efforts to conserve his snap counts to keep him healthy for the postseason, and it paid off in 2014 and 2016. So Tom Brady will almost certainly
As a playoff performer, Amendola consistently came up huge. Especially in 2017, when Brady counted on him without Julian Edelman, and even without Rob Gronkowski in the second half of the AFC Championship Game against the Jaguars. For the Patriots, the hope is that Amendola's departure doesn't come back to haunt them in a future playoff game.
Amendola goes to the Dolphins amid what's being termed a "culture change" in Miami. Ndamukong Suh will be headed elsewhere, as will Lawrence Timmons. They obviously value the competitiveness, toughness, and character that he adds to their locker room.
-- 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 [email protected].