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Danny Amendola took huge pay cut to stay with Patriots

Danny Amendola is entering his fourth season with the Patriots.
Danny Amendola is entering his fourth season with the Patriots.(John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)

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.