Danny Amendola

Lions To Promote Mohamed Sanu

After two weeks on the Lions’ practice squad, Mohamed Sanu is set to return to game action. The Lions are promoting the veteran wide receiver, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Sanu played in three games for the injury-depleted 49ers this season but did not make much of an impact. He may have another chance to play a key role Sunday, with the Lions down both Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola. This will be Golladay’s third straight absence.

Prior to the Patriots sending a second-round pick to the Falcons for Sanu, he had enjoyed a solid run of production in Cincinnati and Atlanta. Sanu fared well as a Julio Jones supporting-caster, but after the Falcons drafted Calvin Ridley, they moved on from their previous WR2. Sanu did not fare as well in New England and wound up a cap casualty this offseason.

The 31-year-old receiver will interestingly reunite with Marvin Jones, with the former Bengal teammates now doubling as by far Matthew Stafford‘s most accomplished wideouts. Jones and Sanu played together from 2012-15, but A.J. Green‘s sidekicks parted ways in the ’16 offseason when Jones signed with Detroit and Sanu landed in Atlanta.

The Lions also promoted defensive lineman Frank Herron from their practice squad.

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Danny Amendola Re-Signs With Lions

Danny Amendola will be sticking around Detroit. FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager reports (via Twitter) that the veteran wideout is re-signing with the Lions. It’ll be a one-year deal.

Amendola was released by the Dolphins last March, and he ended up inking a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the Lions. The 34-year-old ultimately put up some of the best numbers of his career, hauling in 62 receptions for 678 receiving yards and one touchdown. He also continued to contribute on special teams, returning 10 punts.

The new one-year deal is worth $5MM with $4.5MM guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). He can max out at $6MM with incentives and he’ll cash in at around ~$5.5MM if he matches last year’s work.

In parts of 11 seasons, Amendola has spent time with the Rams, Patriots, Dolphins, and Lions. He earned a pair of Super Bowl rings during his time in New England.

With Amendola back in the fold, Matthew Stafford will be plenty familiar with his targets next season. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones will continue to lead the depth chart in 2020.

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North Notes: OBJ, Meyer, Roman

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. recently shot down rumors of a trade demand, but the team never had any intention of trading him anyway, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Cleveland gave up a great deal to acquire OBJ last offseason, and the club fully intends to keep the mercurial wideout on board for what it hopes will be a rebound campaign in 2020.

With respect to Beckham’s potential sports hernia surgery, he has scheduled a January 13 consultation with a core specialist, and that is one of several opinions he’ll gather before deciding whether to go under the knife (Twitter link via ESPN’s Josina Anderson).

Now for more from the leagues’ north divisions:

  • Urban Meyer has been connected to the Cowboys’ and Redskins’ head coaching vacancies in recent weeks, and you can add the Browns to that list. It’s still unclear whether Cleveland will part with first-year HC Freddie Kitchens, but if it does, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports expects Meyer to get heavy consideration. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Meyer enjoy a strong relationship, and despite what he has said publicly, Meyer is reportedly interested in returning to the sidelines.
  • Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has engineered one of the league’s best and most exciting offenses around MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, and La Canfora says Roman is, unsurprisingly, expected to have several head coaching interviews. Though Jackson is a transcendent talent, teams will be looking to replicate Baltimore’s approach, and Roman’s success with Jackson and other athletic QBs like Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor will have him in high demand.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press takes a look at each of the Lions‘ 16 pending UFAs and offers his take as to whether Detroit will attempt to retain them. He believes wide receiver Danny Amendola is a near-lock to return, and he thinks OL Graham Glasgow may prefer to go elsewhere.
  • We took another swing around the north yesterday, including a look at Mitchell Trubisky‘s future with the Bears.

Contract Details: Collins, Morse, Graham

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts from around the NFL:

  • Landon Collins, S (Redskins): Six years, $84MM deal, $45MM guaranteed. $15MM signing bonus, $6MM option bonus for 2024 (exercised between first and fifth of 2020). Deal includes $32MM guaranteed over the first two seasons. $5MM of his 2021 salary is guaranteed at signing. Salaries: $1MM (2019), $10MM (2020), $12.5MM (2021), $11.5MM (2022), $12.5MM (2023), $13.5MM (2024). All Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, and ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
  • Mitch Morse, C (Bills): Four years, $44.5MM, $26.5MM guaranteed (original story). Receives $19.5MM in 2019, $28.375MM in 2020. Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.
  • Brandon Graham, DE (Eagles): Three years, $40MM. $23.5MM guaranteed. $12.5MM signing bonus. Salary: $1MM (2019), $10MM (2020). Team option for 2021: $13MM salary and $3.5MM option bonus. Twitter link via Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic.
  • Danny Amendola, WR (Lions): One year, $4.5MM. $4.25MM fully guaranteed. $250K in per-game roster bonuses, $1.25MM in incentives. Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
  • Tyler Kroft, TE (Bills): Three years, $18.75MM. $8.3MM guaranteed, $2.4MM signing bonus. Will earn $1.8MM salary in 2019, $4.45MM in 2020. Roster bonuses include $2.1MM (2019), $750K (2020), $750K (2021). Twitter links via Wilson and ESPN’s Mike Rodak.

Lions Sign Danny Amendola

The Lions have signed free agent wide receiver Danny Amendola, the team announced. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it will be a one-year pact with a guaranteed base salary of $4.5MM. The deal also includes incentives that could push Amendola’s earnings up to $5.75MM.

Amendola, 33, was released by the Dolphins a few days ago after one year in South Beach. He posted 579 yards and one touchdown for the Fins, and he should be a solid addition to a strong group of skill players in Detroit. Although there was some mutual interest in a reunion between Amendola and Patriots, Amendola will be reuniting with several familiar faces from his days in New England in head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn.

Amendola offers a reliable slot target to complement Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay on the outside, and he comes at a lower price than other free agent options like Adam Humphries and Jamison Crowder. He is also considerably older and may not have as much upside as either of those players, but the Lions are expected to be very active in free agency and wanted to get out in front of the receiver market, which is expected to once again be quite robust.

Indeed, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets that the Lions will be players at the top of the pass rush market, which is what they may now focus on after securing a serviceable replacement for Golden Tate, who was traded to Philadelphia last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Interested In Amendola Reunion?

Danny Amendola‘s Dolphins tenure lasted one season, and a report indicated the veteran wide receiver was interested in rejoining the Patriots. It appears the defending Super Bowl champions are open to that.

The Patriots have interest in bringing Amendola back, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter).

New England’s wideout situation features extensive uncertainty. Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett are free agents, and Josh Gordon — an RFA, were he to be reinstated again — cannot be counted on to come back at this point. Julian Edelman delivered another productive season, culminating in a dominant playoff stretch, but will be 33 next season.

The Patriots would be interested in a Dorsett return, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, but the team does not appear to be eyeing a bigger role for the former first-round pick. Should another team view Dorsett in a better light, Reiss expects the four-year veteran to leave New England.

Amendola will turn 34 this year and was not especially consistent for the Patriots. But he came up big in some key moments, including in his final playoff run with the Pats.

Last season, Amendola caught 59 passes for 575 yards and one touchdown. The Dolphins gave him a two-year, $12MM deal, which they scrubbed from their books earlier this week. Another Patriots contract would not be for that much, but given Amendola’s experience with the team, it would be logical the Pats could pursue him to fill in as an auxiliary weapon on a lower-end deal.

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Dolphins To Release Danny Amendola

Another veteran will be departing the Dolphins. They are releasing Danny Amendola, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Parting ways with the veteran wide receiver will create $6MM in cap room for Miami, which will be hit with no dead-money charges. The 33-year-old target is the latest Dolphins veteran to receive his walking papers.

Amendola also has interest in rejoining the Patriots, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (on Twitter). The Dolphins and Amendola’s agent went through discussions about keeping him in Miami, per Rapoport (via Twitter), but a release will take place anyway.

Amendola signed a two-year, $12MM deal with the Dolphins in 2018. He functioned as an every-week starter for a Dolphins team riddled with receiver injuries, posting 579 receiving yards and catching one touchdown pass. But even as former Patriots assistant Brian Flores takes over, along with former Pats wideouts coach-turned-Fins OC Chad O’Shea, the longtime New England wideout will head for free agency.

This cut will bump the Dolphins’ salary cap space north of $23MM, but they plan on adding significantly to that figure before free agency opens.

The 10-year veteran was rumored to be one of the players the rebuilding Dolphins were targeting for release, along with Ryan Tannehill‘s lofty salary. They have already cut Andre Branch and Ted Larsen. Miami is rumored to be set to release Josh Sitton and DeVante Parker as well, also dangling Robert Quinn in trade offers.

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East Notes: Amendola, Cowboys, Giants, Dez, Jonathan Allen

After playing five seasons with the Patriots, receiver Danny Amendola signed with the rival Dolphins in the 2018 offseason. The move happened, in part, because New England did not come close to matching the two-year, $12MM deal he received from Miami, the receiver told Jimmy Hascup of USA Today.

After taking pay cuts in the past to stay with the Patriots, the veteran wideout was expecting to have a chance to stay with the team. That did not happen with the notoriously stingy Bill Belichick.

“When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn’t going to really come close to any of the other offers I had,” Amendola said. “I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there.”

Amendola also commented on playing for Belichick, saying, “It’s not easy, that’s for sure. He’s an (expletive) sometimes,” Amendola said. “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.”

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The Cowboys will be looking for a new go-to receiver after the departure of Dez Bryant. One of those candidates is Terrance Williams, who will be ready for work in June after recovering from a broken foot earlier in the offseason, ESPN’s Todd Archer writes. Though he will be ready to go, Williams is best used as a No. 2 or 3 wideout due to his inconsistency.
  • Speaking of Bryant, the receiver reportedly left his meeting with Jerry Jones saying he would see the team twice next season. If he is going to join a division foe, the Giants seem like an unlikely spot, SportsNet New York’s Ralph Vacchiano writes. The team’s depth at receiver with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shephard seems to indicate there is no room for Bryant.
  • The Redskins are expected to have defensive tackle Jonathan Allen when the team resumes activities next week, NBC Sports’ JP Finlay writes. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in Week 5 of 2017 and did not play the rest of the season. A healthy Allen could helped Washington improve on its last-ranked run defense in 2017.

AFC Notes: Patriots, Amendola, Broncos, Browns

Similar to many draft pundits, Bill Belichick is also participating in his own mock drafts. Yesterday, the Patriots head coach provided some insight into the organization’s draft preparation to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.

“Sometimes we do that, yeah,” Belichick said about mock drafts. “I’d say sometimes it just sparks a conversation. We might internally say, ‘OK, how about Player A and Player B? Player B and Player C?’ And if you did a mock draft where kind of each [staffer] has a team and, ‘OK, it’s your turn. You pick this.’ And now you look at the board, it’s our turn to pick, and ‘Gee, here’s a scenario we hadn’t really thought about. We hadn’t really pictured that this guy would be there.’ So that can kind of stimulate some [conversation].”

Belichick also explained the risks of not evaluating many of the potential prospects.

“Again, it’s just an exercise to, I’d say, just kind of complete the process of preparation,” he explained. “That’s the way it is on draft day, too. A lot of times you’re sitting there looking at players that I thought this player would be there and he’s long gone, or I didn’t think this player would be there and he’s still there…If you haven’t done enough work on the player and he’s still there but you really don’t know the player as well as you should because you thought he wouldn’t be there, then that puts you in a little bit of a dilemma.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the AFC…

  • Wide receiver Danny Amendola told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that the Patriots‘ offer didn’t come close to the two-year, $12MM ($8.25MM guaranteed) deal he took with the Dolphins. “I came in with an open mind,” Amendola said. “I understand Bill runs a tight ship, and he hasn’t been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay. When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he wasn’t going to really come close to any of the other offers I had. I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there.”
  • The Broncos claimed C.J. Smith from the Browns yesterday, and Mike Klis of 9News in Denver writes that the team has had interest in the cornerback for some time. The organization had been eyeing Smith since his days at North Dakota State, and they expressed interest in him when he wasn’t selected during the 2016 draft. The 24-year-old initially joined the Eagles before signing with the Browns’ practice squad.
  • The Browns have named Larry Jackson as their new head of strength and conditioning, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Jackson had previously served as Texas A&M’s director of football sports performance, and he also served as the school’s NFL liaison. He’ll be replacing Adam Beard, who will stick around the organization in an advisory role. The Browns have also added Dale Jones and Monty Gibson as assistants, and they’ve retained Evan Marcus and Josh Christovich.

Dolphins To Sign WR Danny Amendola

Danny Amendola is staying in the AFC East, but he’ll do so with a different team. The Patriots free agent has agreed to sign with the Dolphins, according to NFL Network’s Dan Hellie (on Twitter). Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (on Twitter) has confirmed the news. It’s a two-year deal worth $12MM with $8.25MM guaranteed, according to Peter Schrager of NFL.com (on Twitter). Schrager notes that the deal includes incentives, but it’s not immediately clear if those incentives are factored into the $12MM figure.

Amendola was vocal about his desire to stay with the Patriots, but New England’s cap crunch has led him to sign elsewhere. He’ll now face his old friends twice per season and he might make the Pats regret the decision to let him leave.

Amendola accepted several pay cuts in order to stick on the Patriots’ roster in recent years, but the offers were too good this time around for the wide receiver to stay put. The veteran earned roughly $6MM over the last three years with the Patriots and he’ll earn more than that in guarantees alone with Miami.

After a down season in 2016, Amendola racked up 61 receptions, 659 yards, and two touchdowns during the 2017 regular season before stepping up with a 26/348/2 line in the postseason. Amendola has never topped 700 yards receiving in a single season, but he is a strong weapon in today’s quick passing game.

The Dolphins jumped at the chance to land Amendola after parting ways with Jarvis Landry this offseason. They used the franchise tag on Landry, an excellent slot receiver, to keep him with a one-year, ~$16MM placeholder before shipping him to the Browns. Amendola will step into Landry’s role and while he might not offer the same production, he comes at a much better value.

This has proven to be a seller’s market for this year’s top free agent wideouts. Already, Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, and Paul Richardson have landed lucrative multi-year deals. Amendola joins that group with a solid pay day of his own.

[RELATED: Dolphins Depth Chart]

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