Danny Amendola: Why WR's Inability to Stay Healthy Will Cost Him This Offseason

Lou RomContributor IDecember 9, 2012

Nov. 25, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: St. Louis Rams wide receiver (16) Danny Amendola dives for a pass in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Amendola's luck couldn't get much worse.

Coming into 2012 as a free agent, the emerging star was poised to put together a great year and capitalize on it come this spring.

Amendola, who despite injuries is still leading the Rams in receptions and yards with 51 and 576 respectively, missed his fifth game of the season Sunday when he had to sit against the Buffalo Bills.

Hindered by injuries and the inconsistent play of the Rams' offensive line, Amendola's value as a free agent, whether he decides to test the waters or re-sign with St. Louis, has certainly taken a hit this season. 

The fact that he was lost for the season last year after Week 1 with an elbow injury does not help his marketability.

This season he has already suffered a broken collarbone and injured his heel, requiring a walking boot. He came back early from the heel injury, only to play ineffectively, resulting in him being forced to put the boot back on. 

Amendola, just 27, has plenty of upside. But teams are surely going to be reluctant to shower the talented wide receiver with big-time money given his penchant for injuries.

He's started every game in a season only once in his short career, in 2010, when he gained over 1,100 all-purpose yards from scrimmage and on kick returns. 

Amendola's stock is hurt even more by the strength of next year's free-agent wide-receiver crop.

Among the top wideouts that may test free agency—Green Bay's Greg Jennings, the Steelers' Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe and Wes Welker—one of the best free agent groups in years.

St. Louis definitely wants to keep Amendola, or that's what the front office has suggested thus far, and Amendola is quarterback Sam Bradford's favorite target.

The Rams could slap the franchise tag on Amendola, but that would cost them somewhere around $10 million in 2013, so that remains to be seen, especially given the bevy of talented wideouts—who have managed to stay healthy in their career—that will be available.

Amendola looks to have the potential to be one of the top-10 wideouts in the league, but because of his injuries he remains an unproven commodity. Clearly, his injury history will hurt him next spring if he does not return and finish with a flourish.