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For the second straight year, receiver Danny Amendola decided to take a significant pay cut to stay with the Patriots instead of accepting a release and testing his value on the free agent market.

Despite coming off a decent season with 65 catches for 648 yards and three touchdowns, Amendola agreed to a new contract that calls for him to make at most $1.6 million in 2016, a pay cut of $4.4 million from his previous deal.

Technically, he signed a two-year, $8.1 million contract, but only $1.35 million is guaranteed, all in 2016. The Patriots did not touch the 2017 portion of his contract ($6.5 million), the last year of his deal, and none of it is guaranteed, meaning the Patriots will likely have to make a decision on whether to release Amendola or restructure his contract again next year.

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Amendola’s new deal has a $1.25 million base salary (guaranteed), a $100,000 signing bonus, and $250,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($25,000 per game, up to 10 games) for a maximum of $1.6 million.

Under his old contract, Amendola was set to make as much as $6 million this year — a $5 million base salary, with $500,000 in per-game bonuses and $500,000 in incentives. In addition to the pay cut, the incentives were removed (Amendola made $525,000 in incentives last year based on receptions).

Amendola was set to have the highest salary cap number of any Patriots receiver (approximately $6.8 million), but his new salary cap number is $2,916,666, third-highest on the team behind Chris Hogan ($5.5 million) and Julian Edelman ($4.421 million).

Last year, Amendola accepted a similar pay cut, shaving about $2.3 million in cash and $2.6 million in salary cap space. Amendola’s contract last year was slightly better than the one he signed this time; the $1.25 million base salary is the same, but last year he got a $500,000 signing bonus, $500,000 in roster bonuses ($31,250 per game), and $750,000 in incentives, of which he earned $525,000.

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Amendola originally signed a five-year, $28.4 million deal with $10 million guaranteed in 2013, but injuries, ineffectiveness, and the emergence of Edelman have reduced his role on the team.

Here’s a breakdown of Amendola’s pay cuts from the last two years:

2015 original

$5 million cash, $5.7 million salary cap

$4m salary, $500k in roster bonus, $500k in incentives ($5m total)

2015 new

$2.71 million cash, $3.12 million salary cap

$1.25m salary, $500k signing bonus, $500k in roster bonus, $750k incentives ($525k earned)

2016 original

$6 million cash, $6.8 million salary cap

$5m base salary, $500k in roster bonus, $500k incentives

2016 new

$1.6 million cash, $2,916,666 cap

$1.25m base salary, $100k signing bonus, $250k in roster bonus, $0 incentives


Follow Ben Volin on Twitter at @BenVolin.