Here's how a former Patriots player is making the Dolphins better this offseason
Adam Gase might not be a fan of the Patriots, but he's definitely a fan of at least one ex-Patriots player
Although Amendola hasn't played a single game for the Dolphins yet -- and won't play one until September -- it appears that his signing is already starting to pay off for Miami. During an interview with PFT Live this week, Dolphins coach Adam Gase explained how Amendola is already helping the team. Basically, Gase loves the work ethic that the former Patriots receiver has brought to Miami.
"It's one of those values that I don't think you can put a price on," Gase said. "He's been great in our locker room. I think the guys watch him work on the field and in the weight room and they understand why he's played as long as he has, why he's had success in big situations."
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Amendola was one of the biggest reasons why the Patriots even made it to the Super Bowl last season. Although he didn't put up huge numbers during the regular season -- he went over 80 receiving yards only one time in 15 games -- the veteran receiver exploded in the playoffs, averaging 8.7 catches and 116 yards in three postseason games. That total includes two clutch fourth-quarter touchdowns in the AFC title game that allowed the Patriots to come back and beat the Jaguars 24-20.
In New England, Amendola was a popular player in the locker room, and it appears that the same thing is already happening in Miami. It's not just popularity though, it seems that Amendola's work ethic is already starting to rub off on the rest of the team. As a matter of fact, Gase believes that the 32-year-old receiver is already making some of his teammates better.
"Any time you can get a guy who can not only produce for you but can be a great example for other guys in your locker room, he's making other guys better," Gase said. "He makes 24 other offensive guys better if they watch him work."
The only reason the Dolphins were able to land Amendola is because the Patriots didn't want to pay him big money. The receiver signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Dolphins that included $8.25 million in guarantees, which is notable, because that $8.25 million number is more than Amendola made in New England over the past three seasons combined.
During an interview in April, Amendola admitted he wanted to stay in New England, but he knew Bill Belichick wasn't going to OK any deal that involved big money for the receiver.
"I came in with an open mind," Amendola said of negotiations. "I understand Bill [Belichick] runs a tight ship, and he hasn't been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay."
Unfortunately for Amendola, that didn't happen. However, things already seem to be paying off for the Dolphins. Not only are they getting a player who makes their entire team better, but as Gase noted, they're getting a player who has "had success in big situations." That's a big deal, because there aren't many players who are used to that in Miami.
Over the past five years, Amendola went to the playoffs five times with the Patriots, which is kind of crazy when you consider that the Dolphins have only been to the playoffs four times this entire century.
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