Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Patriots Replacing Welker with Amendola
Last week, the New England Patriots signed Danny Amendola to a five-year, $31 million deal, according to ESPN.com. The wide receiver will replace Wes Welker, who left New England to sign a two-year, $12 million contract with the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN.com.
New England Patriots fans are undoubtedly having a hard time letting Welker go, but Amendola certainly has some positive qualities, as well as some negatives. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the former St. Louis Rams wide receiver.
Con: Amendola Is Injury-Prone
For a 27-year-old, Amendola has had a serious back-and-forth battle with injury. He has missed 22 games in his entire career, 20 of which were missed over the past two seasons for various injuries.
This past season, he missed the second month for one injury along with some time at the end of the year for a separate injury, totaling five missed games. Even worse, he sat out for all of the 2011 season. Though he’s young and talented, the Patriots will not be able to count on Amendola because of his history with injury problems.
Pro: Belichick Is Optimistic, Looks Forward to Working with Amendola
It’s always good to have the coach’s approval. According to ESPN.com, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of the addition of Amendola to the New England squad, “He’s been very productive—on the inside, on the outside.”
He continued, “[We] look forward to working with him. Any new player we get, they come into our system and [we] try to teach him the things that we do and let him do them and evaluate him and see how it all comes together.”
Con: Amendola Doesn't Measure Up to Welker's Achievements
Unfortunately, there are things that Wes Welker has done that Amendola has yet to prove himself capable of. For instance, Welker has broken the 1,000-yard mark through the air an impressive five times, whereas Amendola has not yet broken the mark.
Moreover, Welker built a strong bond with Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady over his six years in New England. Amendola and Brady will have to forge a completely new bond when they begin to practice with one another, and time will tell whether or not they can get along as well as Welker and Brady did.
Pro: Amendola Has a Good Attitude
Amendola is humble in the face of Wes Welker comparisons and he is quite optimistic about joining the dominant New England team. As the Boston Herald reported, Amendola said of Welker:
“He’s a great player. He’s been to a lot of Pro Bowls, and he’s done a lot of great things to help the Patriots win. One of my main goals is to fulfill my role and try to do what I can to help the Patriots win, as well.”
“The first goal of mine right now is to just fulfill a role on the team really, just find my niche and meet the guys and start working.” He continued, “I’m really not worried about a lot of things down the line. I want to get stuff done now, and I want to become the best player I can as early as I can for the New England Patriots, and I’m sure all the accolades or whatever that come with it will come about in the future.”
Clearly, Amendola’s positive attitude will make him a welcome member of the New England Patriots.
Pro: Amendola Is Young, Big and Talented
Despite his track record with injuries, Amendola is only 27 years old and definitely has a lot to offer as a talented, young wide receiver. As Mike Reiss on ESPN.com notes, “Amendola projects to the slot, but he has versatility to also play outside, which Welker did as well” and also has a similar skill set to Wes Welker.
Moreover, Amendola has a size advantage over Welker, standing 5’11’ and weighing 188 pounds, whereas Welker is 5’9’’ and 185 pounds. In terms of body strength and skill, the former St. Louis Ram is a solid replacement for Wes Welker.