BC-FBN--Lions-Free Agency,2nd Ld-Writethru
DETROIT (AP) — Taking advantage of their connection to New England, the Detroit Lions signed two-time Super Bowl winning wide receiver Danny Amendola to a $5.75 million, one-year contract.
The Lions are led by general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia, both of whom worked for the Patriots, and that clearly made Amendola comfortable joining the franchise.
“I was around (Patricia) all the time and I just love the enthusiasm he brings to work,” Amendola said Monday.
Amendola said he knew Quinn as well from their time together in New England.
“Very thankful for the opportunity he has given me here to come earn my way on this team,” Amendola said.
Shortly after adding Amendola, the Lions released cornerback Nevin Lawson. Detroit drafted Lawson in the fourth round in 2014 out of Utah State and he started 54 of 62 games without having an interception.
Amendola potentially fills the void Detroit has had at slot receiver since it traded Golden Tate last season to the Philadelphia Eagles.
He had 59 receptions for 575 yards and one touchdown last season with the Miami Dolphins after playing for New England from 2013-17, when he helped the franchise win two Super Bowls. He was cut by the Dolphins last week, creating $6 million in salary cap space for the team.
Amendola said he had a few conversations with Miami about returning, and refused to say if going back to New England was one of his options.
“It’s 2019, that’s what I’m focused on,” he said.
Amendola, an undrafted player from Texas Tech, spent his first three years in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.
The 33-year-old Amendola has 485 career receptions for 4,684 yards with 20 touchdowns and joins Lions receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.
“I’m in the best condition of my life,” he said. “I’m as fast as I’ve ever been and I’m hungry as ever. I’m ready to play at a high level and do whatever I can to help this team win.”
And as much as Patricia and Quinn helped to draw Amendola to Detroit, he sounded excited about catching passes from Matthew Stafford.
“He’s a Texas kid, too,” Amendola said. “I’ve been a fan of Matthew for a long time, even before he went to Georgia. He has every throw in the book.”
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