Rueb: Amendola Moves On, Patriots Fans Should Too

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Five years ago today New England Patriots fans mourned the departure of perennial 100-catch slot receiver Wes Welker and chastised the team for settling for relatively unknown Danny Amendola. People only knew Amendola from either his brief cameo on HBO’s Hard Knocks or the time when he almost literally died on the field playing for the St. Louis Rams.

My how things have changed.

According to several reports, Amendola is leaving Foxboro for sunny Miami to finish out his career swimming in money and going 7-9 until he decides to retire.

Amendola is Replaceable

Checking Twitter and Facebook, you’d think Amendola was a 1,000-yard receiver who routinely led the Patriots in catches when he wasn’t busy saving kittens from trees and curing sick children and not the guy people wanted cut during after his first game when he carried the team on his back whilst his groin muscle tore off the bone, then had the audacity to miss time after getting knocked unconscious in his return against the Saints. INJURY PRONE DANNY.

On paper losing Amendola stinks out loud because we remember the moments, not the player. He’s coming off one of the best postseason in NFL history in a season where he had 61 catches, the second-most in his five years in New England. He earned the “Playoff Danny” moniker, but let’s not forget the Patriots have another tough-as-nails receiver who should be in uniform next season. Julian something or other. He could be decent. Wonder if he’s had any monster seasons or big catches in big games. Hmm.

The Patriots weren’t going to pay Amendola what he wanted because his production on the field doesn’t equate the what he wanted and in this system his position is very replaceable. You may have heard otherwise, but WR5s do, in fact, grow on trees.. 
 
With the departure it’s safe to say the Patriots aren’t worried about Rob Gronkowski going against John Cena in a Loser Has To Play For The Jets Match in the WWE and with Gronk, Edelman, Cooks – who’s $8.5 million contract looks pretty good considering the wide receiver deal that were signed in the last week – and Chris Hogan, Amendola might have been a WR4, which is what he was this year only because Malcolm Mitchell was hurt.

Injury Prone, Aging Receiver 

Was he a nice security blanket for Brady with Edelman gone? Yep. But with Mitchell possibly returning, the Patriots have someone TB12 trusts. Remember the Super Bowl he had vs. Atlanta? Mitchell will become the new Amendola and the offense will move on. Had Mitchell not been hurt, Amendola might have been cut last fall. 

It’s OK to be upset about Amendola because he was a fun guy to root for even after you booed him his first two seasons in New England because he wasn’t your precious Wes Welker. But he’s ultimately replaceable. His catch totals went 54-27-65-23-61. That’s 230 regular-season catches in five years. That’s replaceable.

Ultimately, Amendola was a terrific Patriot who took a couple of pay cuts to stay in New England and was looking for one big payday before he calls it a career being handsome and married to Miss Universe, or whatever title Olivia Culpo holds. Plus he pissed off some old rich folks in Providence with carport in his driveway and that was a fun story. Can’t be mad at him for leaving now and can’t be mad at the Patriots for letting a guy leave who was better in our hearts than he was on the field.

Don’t worry. By the end of the 2018 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick will draft some other 5-9 underdog slot receiver to take Amendola’s place and it’ll be like he never left.

Eric Rueb
Eric Rueb is a freelance journalist. For more from Rueb on sports, entertainment and him living the #DadLife, follow him on Twitter at @EricRueb. Send him email at ericrueb@yahoo.com.
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