Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/19/14
There might have been other factors at play, but on Wednesday, the New England Patriots essentially decided that they'd rather have Danny Amendola on their roster than Wes Welker. The deal Amendola signed with New England pays him a higher annual salary than the one Welker inked with the Denver Broncos, and is nearly as valuable when it comes to guaranteed money.  In fact, Amendola ended up getting more money than New England offered Welker, which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. After all, we're talking about a guy who has more catches than anyone else in football since joining the Pats in 2008. No one else has 500 catches during that span. Welker has 560. And as a result, he's also fourth in yardage in that time frame, trailing only the Johnson boys and Roddy White.  But Welker will also turn 32 this offseason, while Amendola is only 27. Both are pure slot receivers, but Welker's a proven star while Amendola has only shown glimpses of being another Welker.  I understand the concern about Amendola's durability. He's made it through only one full season in his four-year career with the Rams and he's missed more games than he's played in since the start of the 2011 campaign. But Welker, again, is half-a-decade older.  And the possibility exists that, aside from those injuries, the difference between Amendola and Welker, productivity-wise, has been the system. Welker's had it a lot easier in the New England offense, which has to help a lot.  Welker also led the league with 19 dropped passes in 2012 and has a ridiculous 48 of them in the last three seasons. Yes, he's been targeted a lot, but he's still been ranked in the bottom 10 in terms of drop rate in two of the last three years, according to Pro Football Focus. Amendola dropped only two passes in 2012, ranking sixth in the league in drop rate. I know that's just one stat, but it's a major advantage for the younger Amendola. On a per-game basis in 2012, Amendola caught six passes for 60 yards, while Welker caught seven for 85. Is that extra 25-yard catch worth extra cash to New England, especially when you consider that Welker is on the wrong side of 30 while Amendola's prime probably still lies ahead of him? Throw in that Welker was targeted 10 times per game while Amendola was thrown at less than nine times per game and the gap is even smaller. And that's why I think it's possible both teams will end up being pleased with what went down on Wednesday. Those who think the Patriots are being foolish are failing to dig deep.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers mutually part ways

Mike Wallace benched for disciplinary reasons

Browns owner sends stern message to Johnny Manziel

Report: Ray Allen is leaning toward retirement

Ravens clinch playoff spot

DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant set Cowboys records in win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Browns feel Josh Gordon 'has to go'

Jets contacted Rex Ryan's agent about replacements for him

Justin Gilbert inactive after being late to team meeting

Report: Browns had to search for Manziel after he threw party

Report: Jim Harbaugh to Michigan is done deal

Amari Cooper not a fan of New Orleans, thinks it smells

WATCH: Ndamukong Suh steps on Aaron Rodgers

Nation's top recruit says he won't follow Jim Harbaugh

Eric Decker's wife was concerned about hubby's groin

WATCH: Lamar Miller has longest run in Dolphins history

WATCH: Pats fans serenade Pete Frates with 'Happy Birthday'

Harbaugh rumors affecting Michigan basketball ticket prices?

WATCH: Dez Bryant burns Redskins defender for TD

Detroit bar offering free food, booze if Lions beat Packers

Jameis Winston: I would throw in Richard Sherman's direction

WATCH: Nebraska safety pukes on field, keeps playing

WATCH: Nyquist holds puck for 28 seconds, scores OT winner

WATCH: Kevin Garnett blows in David West's ear

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Suh steps on Aaron Rodgers

Browns owner sends message to Manziel

Ray Allen leaning toward retirement?

Ravens clinch playoff spot

Murray, Bryant set team records

Pats fans serenade Pete Frates

Browns to part ways with Josh Gordon?

Manziel was late after throwing party?

Amari Cooper not a fan of New Orleans

Harbaugh to Mich. is done deal

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville with chant

Did Bielema do ‘Horns Down’?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.