Danny Amendola was open to re-signing with the New England Patriots. In fact, it sounds like that would have been his preference.
In the end, though, the difference in contract offers was just too great.
Amendola, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Miami Dolphins last month, told ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss that Miami’s offer far exceeded what Patriots coach Bill Belichick was willing to give him.
“I came in with an open mind,” Amendola told Reiss on Friday. “I understand Bill runs a tight ship, and he hasn’t been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay.
“When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn’t going to really come close to any of the other offers I had. I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there.”
Amendola had taken pay cuts in three consecutive offseasons to remain in New England. It’s unclear what the Patriots offered him ahead of free agency, though it’s not surprising they were not willing to pay a 32-year-old slot receiver $6 million per year.
During his five seasons with the Patriots, Amendola played in three Super Bowls, winning two. He had one of the most productive games of his career in the lone Super Bowl loss, catching eight passes on 11 targets for 152 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in what proved to be his final game as a Patriot.
Amendola also shared some candid comments on his experience playing for Belichick.
“It’s not easy, that’s for sure,” he told Reiss. “He’s an a–h— sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn’t like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him. I didn’t like practicing in the snow, I didn’t like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn’t easy, and he’d be the first to admit, at the (Super Bowl) ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images