The Patriots‘ addition of Brandin Cooks would seem to further diminish Danny Amendola‘s role in New England, but the team kept him on the roster despite his impending $6MM base salary and $7.791MM cap number for 2017. New England will reduce that salary if Amendola comes back for ’17, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, but the team is open to the possibility of the veteran returning at a lower rate. The 31-year-old wideout failed to surpass 250 yards receiving for the second time in his Patriots tenure last season, but Reiss notes the door seems open for a fifth Amendola Patriots year if he’s willing to work for less money. Amendola’s five-year deal runs through 2017, and the former Rams target accepted paycuts the past two offseasons. He made $1.25MM in base salary in each campaign.
Here’s more from the Eastern divisions.
- UFA defensive end Howard Jones plans to make a few other visits before making a decision next week, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv (on Twitter). The team Jones visited Friday, the Jets, are still in the mix, Vacchiano notes. Beginning the year as an ERFA whom the Buccaneers did not offer a tender, Jones finished with five sacks in 2015 but none last season. He would profile as an outside linebacker in Gang Green’s 3-4 scheme. PFR’s Dallas Robinson ranked the third-year player as one of the 15 best edge defenders still available in free agency.
- The Jets aren’t in a hurry to land their presumptive 2017 starting quarterback, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. The team could bring in Jay Cutler for a visit after meeting with Josh McCown this weekend, but the quarterback market in somewhat of a holding pattern — and few teams competing with the Jets for Cutler — could well point to a Cutler trek to the Big Apple for a meeting. Gang Green reached out to the soon-to-be 34-year-old passer earlier this week.
- The Dolphins are expected to give Jarvis Landry a “sizable” extension this offseason, James Walker of ESPN writes. This was the expectation last season, but the Fins now have Kenny Stills back on an $8MM-AAV deal. Landry has been the better player over the course of his career and would stand to earn more than that. Doug Baldwin and Tavon Austin reset the slot receiver market last summer, agreeing to extensions that paid them $11.5MM and $10.5MM per year, respectively. Landry will enter his age-24 season on the heels of back-to-back 1,100-yard slates.
- Jason Pierre-Paul‘s Giants extension will count $7.5MM against the cap in 2017, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com notes. JPP’s deal created more than $9MM in cap space for 2017, since the eighth-year defensive end would have been attached to a $16.9MM figure due to being franchise-tagged for the second time. As of Sunday, Big Blue has $12.7MM in cap space remaining.
- Eli Manning has three years remaining on his latest Giants contract, but Raanan does not anticipate the team targeting his successor in this draft. Although Raanan could envision a mid- or late-round pick coming to New York as a developmental candidate, the Giants will likely target the 36-year-old Manning’s heir apparent in a future draft. Jerry Reese said in January the team has started to look for their next quarterback, but the team having signed Geno Smith and agreeing to re-sign Josh Johnson may have assembled the Giants’ QB depth chart for this season.