Last year, the New England Patriots signed wide receiver Danny Amendola to a five-year deal worth $28 million.
Not only did the money put a lot of pressure on Amendola to deliver for the Patriots, but after the Patriots lost Wes Welker, who posted 100-catch season after 100-catch since joining the the team in 2007, to the Denver Broncos, they had a lot of productivity to make for.
Instead of Amendola becoming the team’s new version of Wes Welker, he was bothered by injuries throughout the year. He missed four games and was banged up for almost the entire season. That led to veteran Julian Edelman becoming quarterback Tom Brady’s favorite target rather than Amendola. Edelman caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.
In the offseason, the Patriots re-signed Edelman and signed former Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver Brandon LaFell. If Amendola doesn’t make a bigger impact this season, the Patriots will likely cut ties with him. Amendola appears to be well aware of that and knows he has to play better.
“I don’t make any excuses,” Amendola said last week after an organized team activity practice via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. “Just try to play the best I can, every game.”
Amendola is simply looking towards the future now.
“I don’t really even think about it,” Amendola said of last season. “I’m totally focused on the future. Really optimistic, and really excited.”
In 12 games, Amendola caught 54 passes for 633 yards and two touchdowns last season. He has 250 receptions for 2,359 yards and nine touchdowns in his five-year career.