The New England Patriots have a glaring need at receiver this offseason, and a familiar face just hit the open market.
The Miami Dolphins on Friday released ex-Patriots slot receiver Danny Amendola with one year remaining on the two-year, $12 million contract he signed last spring.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport described Amendola’s departure as a mutual split.
Amendola put together a respectable season for the Dolphins, leading the team in both catches (59) and receiving yards (575). With the 33-year-old now in need of employment, the obvious question to ask is whether a reunion with his previous club is in the offing.
Bringing Amendola back to Foxboro certainly would make sense from a Patriots perspective. New England still has Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman to lead its receiving corps, but fellow wideouts Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson all are set to hit free agency when the NFL league year opens next Wednesday. It also remains unclear whether the suspended Josh Gordon will be eligible to play in 2019.
Amendola never became the Wes Welker 2.0 that Patriots fans envisioned him as when he first landed in New England in 2013, but he was incredibly valuable in clutch situations, especially when filling in for an injured Edelman in 2017. Amendola capped that season with a phenomenal playoff run, catching 26 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns en route to the Patriots’ loss in Super Bowl LII.
The veteran wideout didn’t leave New England on the best of terms — he vented last offseason about the Patriots not coming close to matching the Dolphins’ contract offer — but would be interested in a reunion, according to a report from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Edelman, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson and special teamer Matthew Slater currently are the only Patriots receivers under contract for the 2019 season. New England met with several of the top draft prospects at the position last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images