Former Patriots WR Says Dealing With Bill Belichick ‘Wore Me the Wrong Way’

Getty Patrick Chung and Danny Amendola

Former New England Patriots and current Detroit Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola has had plenty to say during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV.

He hasn’t held back his praise for former teammate Tom Brady or his critical comments aimed directly and indirectly at head coach and general manager Bill Belichick. Earlier in the week, Amendola drew a rise when he appeared on First Things First, and he said:

“When you see the ‘Patriot Way’ in the dictionary, it’s got Tom Brady’s picture next to it. None of those coaches caught any passes. … Tom Brady is the ‘Patriot Way.’ That’s why he’s in the Super Bowl & the Patriots aren’t.”

It would seem, there is only one way to take such a blunt statement from Amendola. However, when given an opportunity to backpedal a bit on his statement, Amendola’s comments on Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd,” only seemed to shuffle slightly. Amendola offered some clarification separating his disdain for Belichick as a general manager from his admiration for the legendary coach, but he still ultimately spewed more ether in the future Hall-of-Famer’s direction.

I was a huge fan of Bill and the way he coached and his tactics and what he did to prepare us for the game. I loved playing for Bill. … But the fact that he also wore the GM hat, and I had to negotiate my contract with him three years in a row by myself and take pay cuts to help him and put rings on his finger kind of wore me the wrong way. So I felt like it was in the best interest for me to move on.

Wore him the wrong way is an interesting way to put things, but it wasn’t nearly as nasty as the last piece of the most-quotable section of the interview:

Yeah, I’m definitely not anti-Bill, man. I love what he’s done and how he approaches the game as a head coach. Again, business is business. And I learned from Bill, you’ve gotta do business as business is being done. If he wants to cut your pay in half, and you can get more on the street and you can go somewhere else and help provide for your family, then that’s what you gotta do. I feel like that’s the same reason Tom [Brady] is out of New England and he’s on to Tampa.

Deconstructing Amendola’s Argument

The last time I checked, taking a pay cut is the decision of the player who accepts or signs the contract. It seems immature and less-than accountable to imply you’re salty at your boss after you’ve accepted an offer he’s made based on his assessment of your value to the team.

As Amendola said, if you can get more money elsewhere, then you do it, but what you probably shouldn’t do is whine about years later when no one twisted his arm. Patriots cap expert Miguel Bezan seems to agree as he eloquently states in the following three tweets:

Amendola’s issues make him sound delusional and bitter. It would appear, he wasn’t ready to leave New England and wanted to continue to play with Brady–whom he clearly adores–and he’s upset Belichick didn’t value him more.

Amendola is a Free Agent

Prior to this week, fans may have wondered if Amendola might return to the Patriots this offseason as a free agent. It seems safe to say that won’t be happening.

At 35 years old, Amendola’s best days are behind him, but he did have 46 receptions for 602 yards with the Lions in 2020. We’ll see where he lands.

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