Is Danny Amendola a Replacement for Patriots If Wes Welker Hits Free Agency?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IMarch 6, 2013

November 11, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola (16) catches a pass in front of San Francisco 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers (22) during the overtime at Candlestick Park. The play was called back due to illegal formation. The 49ers and the Rams tied 24-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

He is a fleet-footed slot option under 6'0'' who runs precise routes and has a knack for getting open.

Of course, I'm describing impending free agent Danny Amendola, not Wes Welker.

Threw you for a loop, didn't I? 

I didn't? 

Well, at least I tried.

When healthy, Amendola has been an absolute menace from the slot position for the St. Louis Rams. To some, he's a faster, quicker, more physical version of Welker. With news surfacing that the New England Patriots receiver will test the free-agent market, it's time to speculate on potential replacements. 

Patriots free-agent WR Wes Welker has no plans to re-sign with New England before first testing the free-agent market next week.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2013

In the 28 games in which Amendola has played since the beginning of the 2010 season, he has accumulated 153 receptions (5.46 per game) for 1,400 yards (50 yards per game) and six touchdowns. 

Could Amendola step into Welker's role with the Patriots? 

Absolutely. 

If he can amass those numbers with Sam Bradford, imagine the type of production he'd be capable of with Tom Brady throwing him passes. 

Since 2010, Amendola has a 71.1 percent catch rate. Welker's is an even 72 percent, according to ProFootballFocus (subscription required). Clearly, he's a high-volume, underneath target who could easily become the next Welker in New England—and he has been the Welker in St. Louis his entire career.

From an on-field playing style standpoint, Amendola's transition to the Patriots would be seamless. However, his injury past is extremely worrisome and could ultimately be a deterrent in him signing with New England, mainly because Julian Edelman, a wideout with a similar skill set, could likely be signed at a lower cost. 

Could Danny Amendola fill a void left by Wes Welker? 

Definitely.