NFL Free Agency: Danny Amendola Gets Paid More Than Wes Welker


Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola (16) runs for yards after the catch against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

So far in Free Agency, we have witnessed quite a few large and unexpected transactions take place. Teams are continuing to make moves that will change the entire landscape of the NFL for the upcoming 2013-2014 season. But, no move made nearly as much noise as when the Denver Broncos shocked the entire football universe and signed WR Wes Welker to a 2 year deal:

It was later revealed that the deal would be worth $12 million, all of which was fully guaranteed. Based on that information, Wes Welker is set to earn $6 million per year, over the next two years. That salary figure per year, is what reportedly kept Wes Welker from re-signing with the New England Patriots, as John Clayton said on the air that the New England Patriots would simply not offer $6 million per year to keep Tom Brady’s favorite target in a Patriot jersey.

If interested, here is the video from ESPN, or if the direct link to the video does not work, then feel free to try this link. The second link will take you to the Bronco’s main page on ESPN.

Anyway, the Patriots essentially told Wes Welker to go look for another team that would give you $6 million per year. Wes Welker did in fact find that deal, with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. How do the Patriots counter that move? Left in a position which forced them to find their “replacement” for Wes Welker, the Patriots indeed found their guy.

As John Clayton stated in his video, the Patriots were interested in the former Rams’ slot receiver, and would wind up signing Danny Amendola to a long term deal of 5 years. Now, it’s not the length of the contract that caught people’s attention, but the terms of the deal itself. And the terms of the contract for Danny Amendola is:

I am definitely not a mathematician, but when you divide the total amount of that contract ($31 million) by the length of the contract itself (5-years) you will get $6.2 million per year. Re-wind, didn’t the Patriots refuse to re-sign Wes Welker on a deal worth roughly the same amount? Are the Patriots suggesting that Danny Amendola, who’s never broke 1,000 receiving yards once in his career, a better player than Wes Welker? Is Wes Welker a product of the system and/or good QB, in this case Tom Brady?

If you were to look at the entire series of events and at the whole picture in general, one could answer “yes”. I’m not going to say the Patriots disrespected Wes Welker with their larger deal for Danny Amendola, but this definitely is a move Wes Welker and fans will remember.

When you refuse to pay someone a contract they would be happy with, it’s generally an indirect way of saying there are better options out there.

Is that absolutely the case here? Maybe not, this could have been a case where the Patriots were forced to out-bid someone, albeit I have yet to find another team interested in Amendola besides the Rams. Another factor, Danny Amendola will turn 28 this year, compared to Wes Welker, who will turn 32 this year himself. Being a business where the media thrives on stories such as these, this could be “the” story of free agency thus far, and could very well continue on for a long time.