When the offseason started, a good percentage of New England Patriots were hoping that Bill Belichick would bring back Danny Amendola.... But, we knew it was never going to happen, right?
I never thought Danny Amendola was the answer to solve the Patriots offensive issues. If you recall, I wrote and talked about it last week, and I said the only reason that I would want Amendola back in New England would be to help re-sign Tom Brady. But as Patrick Morgan from Musket Fire pointed out:
"Anyone who thought the New England Patriots and Danny Amendola were destined to reunite must have forgotten what the receiver said about Bill Belichick"
I get why people wanted Amendola back, very similar to what I was saying about James White yesterday, there is a huge emotional connection to Amendola. He will go down as an all time Patriot, he won Super Bowls with the Patriots, and he was a part of Brady's illustrious inner circle.
But, I think we're all forgetting that things didn't end well between Amendola and the Patriots. Amendola felt unappreciated and completely undervalued by the team. Belichick offered him a contract that apparently offended Danny, and Amendola didn't really have anything nice to say about Belichick. “He even slapped him with labels like “a principal” and “an a–hole?”
Amendola has signed a new one-year deal that will keep him with the Detroit Lions for another season. Amendola quickly became one of Matthew Stafford's favorite receivers, and it looks like Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia wanted to keep him around.
At the end of the day, the NFL comes down to money and appreciation, two things Amendola never had and would never get in New England. Morgan lays it out in great great detail for us:
"Never forget that despite Amendola’s lengthy injury history and penchant for disappearing at times during the regular season, there’s no way New England makes it to three Super Bowls in four years and wins two of those titles without Danny “Playoff” Amendola.
Some of Amendola’s most memorable highlights as a Patriot:
All of this, and New England decided Amendola wasn’t worth what the Miami Dolphins were offering him in free agency during the spring of 2018."
Amendola explained all this in Multiple interviews after deciding to sign with the Dolphins.
“I came in with an open mind,” Amendola said of that negotiation period, per CBS Sports’ John Breech. “I understand Bill [Belichick] runs a tight ship… When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn’t going to really come close to any of the other offers I had. I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there.”
Let's also not forget that he gushed over Adam Gase, and made it pretty obvious that he preferred his new boss over his old one.
“It’s almost like Coach Gase is one of the guys, one of the boys, and you want to fight hard for your boys,” Amendola said at the time. “And back in New England, it’s like you’ve got a principal in a principal’s office and s— like that. In a good way and a bad way too. Much respect to all the coaches who have given me the opportunity to play for their team.”
“It’s not easy (playing for Belichick), that’s for sure. He’s an a–hole sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn’t like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him. I didn’t like practicing in the snow, I didn’t like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team, and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn’t easy, and he’d be the first to admit, at the [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.”
Amendola treated the 2018 season like he'd been released from prison, and was griping about the warden. What Amendola forgot to mention in those interviews was how he played for three different teams in five years before Belichick signed him and let him have a taste of success.
Amendola got his two rings from Brady and Belichick, and now he's made it crystal clear it's all business for him now. Belichick never would have given him $4.5 million. The Patriots don't need role players, they are full of role players. The Patriots need playmakers and guys who can transform the offense. I know that some people wanted it really badly, but it was never going to be Danny Amendola.