Wide receiver Danny Amendola, who helped lead the New England Patriots to two Super Bowl titles during his career, is hanging up his cleats.
Amendola retired Monday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
The Texas Tech product entered the league as an undrafted free agent and leaves as a 13-year veteran who became a household name with his ability to come through in the clutch.
He played for the St. Louis Rams from 2009 through 2012, the Miami Dolphins in 2018, the Detroit Lions in 2019 and 2020, and the Houston Texans in 2021. However, he is best known for his tenure with the Patriots from 2013 through 2017. While he never put up head-turning stats during the regular season, he had a tendency to come up with critical plays in the postseason for New England.
Amendola finishes his regular-season career with 6,212 receiving yards and 24 touchdown catches, never topping 689 yards or four touchdowns through the air during a single campaign.
However, he had a touchdown reception in the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks and three touchdowns in three playoff games that season. He also caught a touchdown as the Patriots overcame a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Amendola also bailed out New England with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in January 2018 and then tallied eight catches for 152 yards in the ensuing Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Michele Steele of ESPN reflected on Amendola's propensity for coming through in the most important moments:
The possibility of retirement came up for the receiver before the 2017 campaign, but he seemed intent on playing for the foreseeable future when speaking to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com:
"I want to play football for some more time. I'm not done yet. Wherever that may be, whatever it is, wherever it is. I want to play football at a high level. This is where it's going to be, so I love it here. I'm going to try to make this team and try to fulfill my role, whatever that may be. Try to expand my role, whatever that may be. Try to be here for my teammates and try to win games. That's why I am here."
While he didn't stay with the Patriots, he apparently wasn't ready to walk away until he got his fill between three teams in his final four seasons.
There was not much left to accomplish at the NFL level for Amendola, especially considering he came into the league without much hype. He leaves the game as a Patriots playoff legend.