By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Miami Dolphins are likely to cut a dear old friend of the New England Patriots. According to a scoop from Finszone on Twitter, it "sounds like" they'll be "moving on" from wide receiver Danny Amendola.
The veteran slot receiver played from 2013-17 with the Patriots, catching 57 passes for 709 yards and six touchdowns in 13 playoff games. He played a key role in two Super Bowl championships for the Pats, catching a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX and catching the game-tying two-point conversion against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. And although the Patriots came up short in Super Bowl LII, Amendola delivered the game of his life against the Jaguars in the 2017 AFC Championship Game.
On the field, Amendola would be a logical choice to return to the Patriots as a free agent. No receiver on the open market would have more familiarity with the Patriots offense or a better rapport with Tom Brady. His presence in the slot would also allow the Patriots to move Julian Edelman around on the field more on the outside.
What could stop this from happening?
Amendola earned his guaranteed $6 million in 2018 with the Dolphins, meaning he will cost Miami nothing against the cap if and when they decide to release him. Otherwise he would cost another $6 million in salary and bonuses if they kept the 33-year-old around. If there are no external worries about Amendola, the Pats would almost certainly consider re-signing him for a fraction of that cost.
Potentially the only roadblock for Amendola back to the Patriots is the candid comments he made to ESPN's Mike Reiss after Super Bowl LII, where he spoke candidly about his relationship with Bill Belichick and questioned the coach's decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler in that game. If Belichick isn't harboring any resentment over his comments, it would make a lot of sense to sign him back for a year instead of dipping too far into the more unknown commodities in free agency.
If it means Amendola can return the Patriots offense to its 2017 levels and help Brady & Belichick win another Super Bowl, perhaps the coach would reconcile himself with Amendola's comments and bring "Danny Playoff" back to New England.
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].