The Patriots may cut Danny Amendola this offseason, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. The Patriots are facing a difficult cap situation, with $127MM already committed to the team’s top 51 players, not to mention the dead money created by players that have already been cut. In order to alleviate some of their financial constraints, the Pats may elect to designate Amendola as a post-June 1 cut. If the team were to cut Amendola before June 1, the team would immediately take a $4.8MM cap hit. However, if they made Amendola a post-June 1 cut, they would take a $1.2MM hit in 2014, and a $3.6MM hit in 2015.
New England could then use some of the money they save on Amendola to pay free agent Julian Edelman, who emerged as quarterback Tom Brady‘s favorite target after the departure of Wes Welker and in the absence of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Amendola has had difficulty staying healthy throughout the course of his career, but he was able to parlay his flashes of excellence with the Rams into a five-year, $28.5MM free agent contract with the Patriots last March. Despite his continued injury problems in his first season with New England, he would generate significant interest if the Pats were to cut him. Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times tweets that the Ravens would likely take a good look at Amendola should he hit the open market again.
New England might also look to extend safety Devin McCourty to free up some more cap room. Christopher Price of WEEI.com notes that McCourty’s salary is due to take a significant hike for the 2014 season, from $920K to about $3.92MM. His cap hit would be an even larger $5.115MM. As such, Price writes that the Pats would do well do extend McCourty, whose strong ball skills and leadership in the secondary make him a valuable part of the team’s success. McCourty is entering the final year of his rookie contract and would be a free agent at season’s end.