The Pats signed wide receiver Danny Amendola to a reported five-year, $31 million contract seemingly immediately after Wes Welker left town, after signing a two-year deal with the Broncos.
New England has been a region divided in the hours following the announcements, with half arguing that the team should have never allowed a player of Welker’s caliber to leave, especially on a relatively inexpensive contract, and others contending that Amendola brings all of Welker’s tools to the table in a younger package.
The former St. Louis Ram may be five years younger, but he doesn’t have quite the resume that Welker possesses. Amendola’s career high of 85 catches in 2011 has been eclipsed in each of the past six seasons by Welker, and the 27-year-old has struggled with injuries of late, playing in just 12 of St. Louis’ 32 games over the past two years.
Amendola should benefit from a massive upgrade at the quarterback position, though, as catching passes from Tom Brady is a bit of a step up from Sam Bradford. But on that same token, it’s unrealistic to expect a dip in Welker’s numbers after his switch from Brady to Peyton Manning, even if he’ll be competing for catches with fellow Denver wideouts Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.