Danny Amendola will sign with the Detroit Lions, per ESPN NFL reporter Dianna Russini. This would reunite the Miami Dolphins receiver with his former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who is entering his second season as the Lions head coach.
Russini tweeted the following:
Amendola is in Detroit now, taking a physical and as long as there are no complications, he will be a Lion, reunited with GM Bob Quinn and HC Matt Patricia. #Lions
The veteran wide receiver was released by the Miami Dolphins on Friday, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 33-year old had previously been connected to rumor that would have reunited him with Tom Brady in New England.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reiterated this sentiment in a tweet.
Amendola signed a two-year contract with the Dolphins as a free agent before the 2018 campaign. Amendola caught 59 passes for 579 yards last season in Miami. The Dolphins missed the playoffs and fired head coach Adam Gase.
Through 5 seasons in New England, he snagged 230 balls for 2,383 yards. Per a quote from SB Nation’s Pat Pulpit, he and Bill Belichick apparently reportedly did not get along.
It’s not easy, that’s for sure. He’s an a–h— sometimes. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I didn’t like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him,” Amendola said. “I didn’t like practicing in the snow, I didn’t like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It wasn’t easy, and he’d be the first to admit, at the [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it wasn’t easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony.
The 10-year pro will be a weapon out of the slot for Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. Let’s take a quick look at the Detroit wide receiver depth chart is this transaction follows through:
WR 1. Kenny Golladay
Most expected Marvin Jones to be the No. 1 receiver in Detroit last season. After a season-ending knee injury, Kenny Golladay take the baton and sprinted to a 1,000-yard season.
The 2017 third-rounder out of Northern Illinois broke out in his second NFL season, catching 70 passes for 1,063 yards and 5 scores. With Golden Tate getting traded to Seattle mid-season, as well, Golladay absorbed his No. 1 receiver role with gusto.
He possesses elite size at 6-foot-4, 213 pounds, and recorded a 4.5 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. That combination portends a healthy career in Detroit.
WR 2. Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones was brought to Detroit to supplement the production of Tate, who in turn was supposed to attract attention away from the since-retired Calvin Johnson. Jones, for his part, has been highly productive for the Lions.
Through 3 seasons in Michigan, the 28-year old has 151 receptions for 2,539 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 6-foot-2 frame is prototypical for an outside target. The one question comes with his recovery from knee surgery.
Slot WR: Danny Amendola/TJ Jones
Amendola and TJ Jones figure to partner up in the slot for the pass-happy Matt Stafford. The Lions quarterback loves to dink and dunk, so extra options in the slot is very appealing.
Jones looked like a potential departure last offseason, but the Lions retained him through a $1.907 million tender. For that, the 5-year veteran is now “loyal to Detroit,” according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press back in 2018.
“I’m loyal to Detroit,” Jones said. “And like I said, I’m not going to harp on that process or what went down, however it went down. Bottom line, I ended up here. And it’s where I want to be. I’m happy to be here. I’m working to make sure that we’re better this year than we were last year.”
He has accumulated 49 catches for 589 yards and 3 touchdowns the last two seasons. If Stafford can grab a pair of 1,000-yard seasons from his outside receivers and aggregate another one with Amendola and Jones, than he should be in good position to return to form after a 6-10 season in 2019.