Amendola, who was scheduled to make $6 million this coming season, has agreed to reduced contract to remain with the Patriots, ESPN's Field Yates reports. It's not the first time Amendola has restructured his deal to stay with the Patriots, and retaining him gives the team valuable depth and experience behind top wideout options Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, and Chris Hogan. Meanwhile, the emerging Malcolm Mitchell rounds out the core group of the unit, which also includes depth options in Devin Lucien and special teams ace Matthew Slater. Amendola, who turns 32 in November, caught 23 of 29 targets for 243 yards and four TDs in 12 games for New England this past season.
Amendola projects as the No. 4 or 5 receiver if he stays with the Patriots, ESPN.com reports. Scheduled for a 2017 base salary of $6 million, Amendola needs to take a significant pay cut to avoid being released. The Patriots traded for Brandin Cooks to join a receiving corps that already had Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan, leaving Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell as the likely No. 4 and 5 receivers, in some order. Amendola accepted a pay cut the past two offseasons, but he'll probably be asked to take an even larger reduction this time around.
Amendola likely will be asked to take a pay cut, the Boston Herald reports. The 31-year-old Amendola took pay cuts to remain in New England the past two offseasons, knowing that doing so all but assured him of a spot on the final roster. The situation is a bit different this time around, as the Patriots' recent acquisition of Brandin Cooks leaves Amendola without an obvious role in the offense. The Patriots also return Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell, which leaves Amendola as the likely fourth or fifth receiver if he does stick around. Depending on how much of a reduction he's willing to accept, Amendola might have to compete for his roster spot in such a scenario. It's thus possible the two sides could finally part ways.
Amendola (ankle) secured eight of 11 targets for 78 yards and one touchdown in the Patriots' 34-28 Super Bowl LI overtime victory over the Falcons. He also caught the game-tying two-point conversion. Amendola capped off a quiet season that saw him notch just 23 receptions with a superb Super Bowl performance, as he made a number of clutch catches in the second half and overtime. The eighth-year pro had a 17-yard grab on fourth down to extend the Patriots' second possession of the second half, a drive that would eventually culminate in the first touchdown of their comeback effort. He also made a six-yard touchdown reception with 5:56 remaining to help bring the Patriots to within one possession of the Falcons, and then caught the game-tying two-point conversion with 57 seconds remaining to knot matters up at 28. Amendola then capped things off with a 14-yard reception on the second play of overtime, leaving him with the second-most receptions on the night for New England. The 31-year-old is expected to reprise his possession receiver role alongside Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and the emerging Malcolm Mitchell in 2017, the final year of his current contract.
Amendola (ankle) is no longer listed on the Patriots' injury report in advance of Sunday's Super Bowl. Amendola will no doubt be available for the Super Bowl, but given that he's clearly behind Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan in the Patriots' wideout pecking order, he's a speculative play Sunday in daily formats.
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