Patriots gridiron news: The best fit for Danny Amendola is New England

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Danny Amendola /

Another NFL offseason and another one in which we have to wonder whether Danny Amendola will take a pay cut to stick with the New England Patriots.

One area of less concern for the New England Patriots this offseason is the wide receiver position.  With Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and a healthy Julian Edelman all under contract, there are no expectations the team will tweak its wide receiver depth much.

But, then there’s playoff legend hero Danny Amendola.

Drawing the nickname “Playoff” Amendola, the veteran wide receiver stepped up with a solid 2017 season with the absence of Edelman.

His 61 catches, 659 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season was enough to show he still has value in this league.

Add to that his 26 receptions, 348 yards and two touchdowns in the postseason and you have a player that has shown he is just as clutch than he is production.  Sounds perfect for a player hitting free agency.

If it wasn’t for his age, injury history and close bonds with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, it would be beyond the realm of possibility that Amendola seeks more money elsewhere this offseason.

Below market value

First of all, he would be no higher than 4th on the depth chart if everyone is healthy.  Secondly, he has already taken two pay cuts to stick around in New England.  Would he take another below-market deal?

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He should because the Patriots are the best fit for him.  Now, if Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels did take the head coaching job at Indianapolis, Danny Amendola may have another option to consider.

But, by taken those pay cuts in previous seasons, the clutch veteran receiver has more then proven he values winning over money.  On the other side of 30, he also serves better as a depth option as proven the last few seasons with the Patriots.

Anywhere else, Danny Amendola would expect to have a larger role.  At this point in his career, that may not be at the top of his list.  In fact, the only way I see him moving on is if the New England Patriots don’t show any interest in bringing him back.

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That is highly unexpected.

Franchise tag unlikely in New England

Danny Amendola is one of a few free agency decisions the Patriots will have to make once the new league year begins in March.

One of those decisions is whether to apply the franchise tag to a player they hope to retain.  With their recent history of not choosing to apply the tag, it is highly unlikely they will this season given the list of unrestricted free agents.

Left tackle Nate Solder would be an option, but according to the Boston Herald, terms of his contract does not allow it.  Another option would’ve been Malcolm Butler, but there is no way the team sticks the tag on him given the fallout surrounding Super Bowl LII.

That leaves players like running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead.  While both players have shown value in the Patriots’ offense, each is replaceable at a cheaper value.

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In other words, it would be a major shock if Bill Belichick decided to apply the franchise tag this season of all recent seasons.