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Amendola Could Be Expendable
Wednesday, March 16
A source told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on Wednesday that Amendola could be on his way out of New England.
The receiver could be phased out of the Patriots after the team signed wide receiver Chris Hogan on March 11 and reportedly acquired tight end Martellus Bennett on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Florio believes the Patriots would approach Amendola, 30, to take a pay cut before doing anything else. The seven-year veteran is expected to make $11 million over the next two seasons, per Spotrac. If Amendola does not budge on a new deal, then the Patriots could trade or cut him.
After a down season in 2014, in which he put up just 200 receiving yards, Amendola caught 65 passes for 648 yards and three touchdowns. He trailed only tight end Rob Gronkowski in receptions and was third on the team in yards.
He was forced to step up into a more prominent role when leading wide receiver Julian Edelman went down with a foot injury, which forced him to miss seven games. It was then that he became a go-to option for quarterback Tom Brady in the slot as he saw double-digit targets from Weeks 9 through 11.
With a healthy Edelman, the Patriots might be leaning toward Hogan to step in as a replacement for Amendola. Hogan is three years younger than Amendola, and his contract's structure is more suitable for the Patriots.
Amendola's deal is set to provide a $6.8 and $7.8 million cap hit over the next two seasons. ESPN.com's Mike Reiss broke down Hogan's deal:
The main thing about this deal is that the Patriots had to structure it with a $5.5 million cap charge in the first year to make it more difficult for the cap-strapped Buffalo Bills to match, as Hogan was a restricted free agent. To do so, the sides didn’t include a signing bonus -- which would have been prorated over three years on the cap -- and instead included $4.5 million in roster bonuses in 2016. By doing that, the entire $4.5 million in roster bonuses counts against the cap, in addition to the $1 million base salary. The total guarantee in the deal is $7.5 million, which is a nice haul for Hogan and reflects how the Patriots view him as a significant part of their plans.
Hogan, 27, hasn't recorded more than 41 receptions or 426 yards in his first four seasons in the NFL, but as a slot receiver, having an 11.0 yards per catch average is promising.
Put him in a Brady-led offense where he is surrounded by the likes of Gronkowski and Edelman, and Hogan could flourish in New England, which could spell the end of Amendola's time with the Patriots.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.