FOXBORO, Mass. — Danny Amendola proved he’s all about the “Patriot Way” this offseason by taking a pay cut to stay in New England and defend the team’s Super Bowl title.
Amendola lowered his 2015 salary cap hit from $5.7 million to $3.116 million, freeing up $2,583,334 for the Patriots to spend on other players. Amendola, who came on strong late in the season and into the playoffs, just wants to be a Patriot.
“I love playing for this team, I love playing for these coaches, this organization,” Amendola said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. “I’ve got family out here. This is home to me, so yeah, I love playing for this team. It’s a great experience and I’d like to prolong that for as long as I can. It’s been fun.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound receiver stayed healthy for all 16 regular-season games for just the second time in his NFL career, but he caught just 27 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. He added 11 receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs, proving his value as the Patriots’ slot receiver.
“Everybody gets an opportunity to show what they’ve got, and it’s something that I’m looking forward to next year,” Amendola said. “Gonna try to make the team, obviously, just like everybody else and go from there.”
Amendola originally signed a five-year, $28.5 million contract in 2013, but he saw his playing time dwindle because of injuries and Julian Edelman’s breakout as quarterback Tom Brady’s favorite target. Amendola didn’t seem too upset about taking a pay cut to stay with the Super Bowl XLIX champs.
“It’s a business,” Amendola said. “Everybody treats it like a business. Obviously, you love playing football, you love being around the locker room, you love being around your teammates, and that’s really the most important thing for me. I love the group we have here. I love the work ethic everybody puts in every week. I love being here, so that’s why I chose to come back.”
Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/Associated Press