The team’s new slot receiver was signed to a 5-year, $31 million deal to replace Wes Welker a day after Welker bolted to Denver to play with Patriots nemesis Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Amendola is in his fifth season. He played his first four with the St. Louis Rams after coming into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2009. When he began his career, he was primarily viewed as a punt and kick returner, with 66 kickoff returns his rookie year and another 50 return attempts in 2010. He has a career average of 23.5 yards per return.
The 27-year-old from Woodlands, Texas and Texas Tech product has 196 career receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns. His best year came in 2010 when he caught 85 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns. His best game ever was a 15-catch, 150-yard performance against the Washington Redskins last fall.
Throughout Amendola’s career, he has been plagued with injuries. He’s missed 20 of 32 regular season games in the past two years, including three games last season after suffering a sternoclavicular joint separation. He was put on injured reserve in 2011 with an elbow injury.
In 2013, he’s expected to be Tom Brady’s top target.