Nobody’s going to mistake Danny Amendola for Wes Welker, but the Patriots think they will be just fine without Welker. (Credit: AP File Photo)
One of the bigger shocks of the start of free agency was the Patriots not only losing out on Wes Welker to the AFC rival Broncos, but then turning around and giving a sizable contract to Danny Amendola. However, the Amendola signing wasn’t exactly retaliation to the Broncos nabbing Welker.
As Tom Curran of Comcast Sportsnet points out, the Patriots’ signing of Amendola occurred prior to Welker’s signing with Denver. Reports early in free agency were that Welker was unhappy with the Patriots’ contract offer.
Curran indicates that Welker was looking for a contract that “would be in the $8 million to $9 million-per-season range”, which makes sense considering the Patriots gave Amendola 5 years and $31 million, or just over $6 million per year. What doesn’t make sense, however, is that Welker’s deal with Denver is just for 2 years and $12 million – or roughly the same money per year as the Patriots gave Amendola. It seems as if Welker decided to stick it to the Patriots and take less than market value for a chance to beat them in a meaningful playoff game next year.
Surely the Patriots won’t be losing sleep any time soon after replacing Welker with Amendola. The two are very comparable players in terms of size and skill set, but Amendola is younger and demanded less money on the open market.
However, the Broncos must be overjoyed having landed Welker. Adding him as a slot receiver playing inside of the “Black and Decker” tandem of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker gives Peyton Manning all the ammunition he will need to make a Super Bowl run in 2013.
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