Free agency doesn't officially open until Wednesday, but it looks like the Patriots will be losing the services of one of their most dependable playoff performers.
NFL Media's Dan Hellie tweeted earlier in the afternoon that wide receiver Danny Amendola is expected to sign with the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.
The 32-year-old wideout is coming off his best season as a Patriot, finishing with 61 catches for 659 yards and two touchdowns. As solid as that production was, Amendola's work in the postseason was even more impressive, leading Rob Gronkowski to dub him Danny "Playoff" Amendola. In three playoff games Amendola tacked on 26 receptions for 348 yards and two more scores.
Amendola battled injuries after signing a big free agent deal to join the Patriots in 2013 following the departure of Wes Welker. As a result of those injuries, the Patriots monitored his play time – as well as his salary – in the ensuing seasons.
Amendola accepted pay cuts in each of the last three seasons, and according to reports was unwilling to accept less to remain in New England. NFL Network's Peter Schrager reported Amendola's deal is for two years and $12 million with $8.25 million guaranteed.
Matthew Cannata, host of PhinsiderRadio, tweeted the following:
The decision to allow Amendola to walk is not a huge surprise given his age and health, but the idea of pursuing Ndamukong Suh is. Suh can be a disruptive defensive tackle but hasn't shown the ability to be disciplined and hasn't been part of consistent winning teams. But Bill Belichick isn't afraid of bucking conventional wisdom and it will be interesting to see how this situation develops.