When the Patriots signed Danny Amendola in the offseason, they had figured it would be a smooth transition after they let Wes Welker walk in free agency. So far, it's been anything but a great relationship. 8 touchdowns from Peyton Manning has made Welker a force in Denver. Amendola's time in New England hasn't started out so hot. That might even be an understatement.
While with the Rams, Amendola was then compared to a poor-man's version of Welker. A guy who could rack up many receptions in the St. Louis offense, but didn't have as much of the IT factor as Welker did in terms of overall talent. While Welker scored a fair amount of touchdowns and was able to rack up yardage, Amendola was more high volume/low output. In 2010, Amendola had his best season, racking up 85 catches. However, his 689 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns were pretty mediocre compared to the guy up North. Although, the Rams offense never came close to the Patriots.
When the Patriots made the decision to let Welker go and sign Amendola, they knew about his injury history. Of course everyone remembers the freak clavicle injury that almost killed him last year. But the Patriots took a chance anyway and signed him to a $10 million guaranteed contract. This is the Patriots. They've been able to make stars out of players before. Bill Belichick's ego would be stroked, yet again, by proving everyone wrong. Brandon Lloyd was an exception to New England's way of thinking, not the rule.
So far, the marriage hasn't been so hot. Of course, the Patriots offense clearly isn't what it used to be. With new rookie receivers and a tight end who is surrounded by controversy for practicing, but not suiting up on gameday, the Patriots aren't anywhere near the dynasty they used to be. Amendola hasn't helped. He started off hot, catching 10 passes for 104 yards against Buffalo in Week One. Then an injury reared it's ugly head again when Amendola suffered a groin injury. Out 3 weeks, the Patriots passing game looked like a shell of it's former self. Week 5 came and went. Amendola wasn't a huge factor with only 4 catches against the Bengals, but he was back. Things were looking good again.
Then another injury struck in Week 6. Amendola ran with the ball, lowered his head into a Saints defender and was knocked unconscious on the sideline. You can see the video here:
So now the question is: Will this be a trend for Amendola once he comes back? The Patriots didn't invest a fortune in him, but they also made a bold move by letting their best offensive weapon (outside of Brady) sign with the best offense in football right now. If Amendola can't get back on track, this marriage could be over before it even starts.
What are your thoughts? Is this just a bad year for the first year Pat? Or will Amendola's signing wind up being one of the bigger mistakes the Patriots have made over the past few years?