The Miami Dolphins made a move that most fans of the team are not used to seeing - they signed a New England Patriots player away from their AFC East rivals, rather than having a Dolphins player joining the Patriots. It is kind of a weird feeling.
Dolphins fans know wide receiver Danny Amendola from having seen him twice a year for the past five seasons. The former (then St. Louis) Rams receiver joined New England in 2013, catching 230 passes for 2,383 yards with 12 touchdowns with the club. Now, he heads down to South Florida to continue his career.
But, what should Dolphins fans expect from Amendola? I asked Rich Hill, the managing editor of SB Nation’s Patriots site, Pats Pulpit, for a closer look at what Amendola will bring to Miami.
Why was he not re-signed by the Patriots?
The Patriots were definitely interested in bringing back Amendola, but he received a lot more money from the Dolphins than what New England was willing to pay. The Patriots handed Julian Edelman a 2-year, $11 million deal. There’s no way the Patriots were going to come near that to retain Amendola, despite his clear value to the team.
Should Dolphins fans be worried about this age?
Yes. While Amendola managed to avoid any super major injuries in New England, it always felt like there was a nagging injury or a soft-tissue reason for him to be limited for a period of time. The Patriots intentionally limited his snaps to try and prevent injury so they could ensure he was available for his high leverage plays (third down, red zone), but if the Dolphins plan on using him on every down, he could have a short season.
Can he come in and fill the hole left in the roster by Jarvis Landry?
He could definitely fill the role from a technique and skill perspective. Can he do it from a workload perspective? I’m not sure and I think Albert Wilson could bring a similar value to the table.
Is there any way to turn Amendola into a reverse Wes Welker type of situation?
Nah. Amendola is too old for that to happen; he’s not going to bust out a Hall of Fame-caliber stretch for six seasons. Welker averaged 80.2 yards per game with the Patriots, which would rank 6th-best all-time behind Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Calvin Johnson, and A.J. Green.
What else should we know about Amendola?
He’s super easy to root for and he’ll do whatever he can to help the team. He was the Patriots return man once Edelman was injured, too, so he’ll find a way to contribute.