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Patriots WR Danny Amendola doesn’t want to leave New England

danny amendola, Patriots

New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is about to hit free agency this offseason and still deliberating whether to return for a 10th NFL season next year. But if he does return, he’s made it pretty clear where he wants to play, even though he’s realistic about how that might not happen.

“I’m a free agent this year, so let’s say — the unknown. We’ll see what happens. I definitely want to be here. To tell you the truth, I don’t want to leave. But it’s a business. I’ve learned that.”

Amendola saw his role on the Patriots increase last year following the season-ending injury to top slot receiver Julian Edelman. He had 61 catches for 659 yards – both third on the team behind Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks – with two touchdowns in the regular season.

However, he raised his game to another level during the postseason as he became Tom Brady’s most trusted receiver. He had 26 receptions for 348 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs, which included a team-high 152 yards during the Super Bowl defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Patriots obviously aren’t shy about moving on from key contributors. Even if Amendola doesn’t return, the Patriots will still have a good deal of options at wide receiver with the returning Edelman, Cooks, Chris Hogan, Philip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, and Kenny Britt all competing for touches.

But given his excellent performance in the playoffs coupled with the continued uncertainty surrounding the future of Gronkowski, it would be hard to imagine the Patriots being so eager to move on from a proven playmaker like Amendola. At the very least, they should table a respectable offer that can push Amendola closer toward returning for one more year.