The New England Patriots wasted no time finding a younger model, after Wes Welker departed for the Denver Broncos in free agency. The Patriots moved quickly to sign youthful Welker-clone Danny Amendola.
NFL.com reported that the Patriots gave Amendola a five-year $31 million contract, to come and do the same things Welker did for years in the New England offense. These things primarily include attacking defenses from the slot and exploiting the underneath zones.
Like Welker, Amendola has established a niche in these areas. In many ways, the former St. Louis Rams star is simply a younger version of Welker. Short and quick, Amendola is a tricky matchup for any coverage scheme.
His route-running is precise and crafty and he has a natural flair for getting open. If there is one worry with Amendola, it concerns his durability. He has missed 20 games since 2010.