Danny Amendola’s switch from blue and silver to teal and orange hasn’t changed Bill Belichick’s opinion of the veteran wide receiver.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday at the NFL coaches breakfast, Belichick heaped praise on Amendola, who spent five seasons with the New England Patriots before signing with the Miami Dolphins earlier this month
“I love Danny,” Belichick said. “He did a great job for us. Great competitor. Played a lot of different roles. Tremendous person. I wish him well in the opportunity he has, other than the times we play him. I love everything that Danny brought to the team in the five years he was with us.”
Initially viewed as a disappointment after failing to become Wes Welker 2.0, Amendola eventually emerged as a frequent target for quarterback Tom Brady in clutch situations and a postseason star. During the 2017 playoffs, the 32-year-old caught 26 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns — a performance that helped him land a lucrative two-year, $12 million contract from Miami.
That price tag simply was too rich for the Patriots.
The other high-profile free agents who left New England this offseason also signed big-money deals elsewhere, with running back Dion Lewis (four years, $20 million from the Tennessee Titans), offensive tackle Nate Solder (four years, $62 million from the New York Giants) and cornerback Malcolm Butler (five years, $61 million from the Titans) all getting paid.
“Malcolm, Dion, Nate, Danny — all of them. Those guys worked hard, they competed well, they performed well,” Belichick said. “They signed contracts that were better than what we were able to give them. They all did a great job for us. We wouldn’t have had the success that we had without the contributions of those and many other players.”