Danny Amendola: Teams Should Be Cautious While Pursuing Free-Agent Receiver

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 23: Receiver Danny Amendola #16 of the St. Louis Rams warms up just before the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Danny Amendola will likely be a hot commodity this NFL offseason, but teams should be wary of overvaluing the young receiver.

After four seasons and 196 catches with the St. Louis Rams, Amendola will likely test the water of free agency. 

Last week, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reported that the Rams will not place the franchise tag on the receiver. On Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com stated that he will try the open market:

St. Louis is still interested in bringing back the team's No. 1 target, but the front office is being smart about staying patient.

At times, Amendola seemed like a player worthy of a large contract. In just 11 games last season, the former Texas Tech star totaled 666 receiving yards. He also led the team with 63 catches, including two games with 11 or more, demonstrating how valuable his return would be for the Rams.

However, he has not shown that he has what it takes to be in the upper echelon of receivers in the NFL.

The first issue is Amendola's injury history. After missing two games in his first two years in the league, he only played one game in 2011. He then missed five games last season with a broken collarbone and then a shoulder injury.

These problems should no longer be considered simply bad luck, but instead a trend that should be concerning for any future employer. His small stature is a problem and his label of injury-prone should prevent any organization from giving him much guaranteed money.

In addition, Amendola is not explosive enough to make a significant impact on any NFL team. He is a possession receiver that is rarely used for big plays. His average of 10.6 yards per catch was a career high, but it ranked 95th in the league this season. His career-long is just 56 yards.

His production was also not all that impressive in 2012. The pace of 666 yards only prorates to 969 yards over a 16-game season. Also, almost a quarter of his total yards (160) came against the Washington Redskins, who had the third-worst pass defense in the NFL. His other 100-yard performance came in five full quarters of action, a tie against the 49ers.

At 5'11" with limited speed, Amendola does not have the ability to truly make that much of a difference on a contending team.

With free-agent receivers like Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and Mike Wallace possibly on the market, there are plenty of options for teams in need of an upgrade on the outside. Amendola is likely to get lost in the shuffle behind these talented players.

St. Louis could use Amendola's reliability as the team hopes to give young quarterback Sam Bradford something to work with. However, the squad must not give up too much in an effort to re-sign him.

Any team with interest should take the same type of precaution.