It was clear the Patriots were mentally ready to part ways with Wes Welker. They had 2 years to work out a new, long-term deal if they so desired. Additionally, they difference between New England's final offer and what Welker got from Denver is nothing more than a mere $2 million.
People say why would New England take Amendola for $6 million a year over Brady's friend and safety blanket, Mr. Wes Welker. The answer is a number. No, not receptions, yards, or touchdowns. A more important number: age. Danny Amendola is 5 years younger than Welker and is now under contract through the 2017 season. Let's break down the specifics of this complex contract New England agreed to with Amendola.
It's actually a 5 year deal for $28.5 million, with incentives worth $2.5 million based on his health. Which is how the $31 million figure surfaced. Amdendola will receive a $6 million signing bonus, earn a guaranteed base salary of $2 million in 2013 and $3 million in 2014 ($2 mill of which is guranteed). He then earns salaries of $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million per year in 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively. So really, this deal is the same (in terms of guaranteed dollars) as the 2 year, $10 million deal they threw at Welker. Again, Amendola is 5 years younger than Welker and is now locked up to reasonable money for 3 more years than Welker would've been under contract. The similarities between these two guys are irrey, down to the university they played college ball at. Welker was relatively unknown until he landed in New England. Amendola is much more well-tauted and New England even protected themselves with a per game incentive to cover his injury risk.