On Wednesday, Welker signed with the Broncos after six seasons with the Patriots — five of those seasons ending with more than 100 receptions. Welker will attempt to recreate the success he had in New England with Peyton Manning while the Patriots will look to Amendola, who inked a five-year deal with New England, to take over Welker’s role.
Welker proved worthy of the second-round pick the Pats sent the Dolphins to acquire him in 2007. In his six seasons in Foxboro, the 5-foot-9 Welker averaged more than 1,200 receiving yards, quickly becoming Tom Brady‘s go-to receiver. However, Welker’s receiving yards went down in 2012 after a career-high 1,569 receiving yards in 2011. Welker will need time to develop that chemistry with Manning, but remember, he did eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in 2008 with Matt Cassel as the Pats’ signal caller.
Amendola’s health will be an issue if he wants to be Welker’s successor, especially after Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski both missed time in 2012. Amendola has only played 12 games over the last two seasons, missing five games in 2012, and was placed on injured reserve following Week 1 in 2011. However, when healthy, the 27-year-old has proven to be a solid slot receiver. In 2010, his only full season, Amendola reeled in 85 catches for 689 yards with a rookie quarterback throwing to him.
Amendola photo via Wikimedia Commons