Danny Amendola didn’t have an absolutely superb game by any means on Sunday against the Cowboys, but this is moreso an overdue testament to the crafty work he has done for the Detroit Lions in the 2019 season.
Amendola was widely regarded as overpaid when the Lions signed him to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with incentives that could bring it to close to $6 million. Ironically enough, this came after much of the fan base grew ecstatic about Jesse James’ four-year, $28.5 million deal that doesn’t look so good anymore.
Amendola has proven a lot of folks wrong, showing a high floor and high ceiling thus far in the season. This has come in spite of turning 34 years old in early November, making him an AARP cardholder in the wide receiver world.
Through nine games, Amendola has 39 catches for 452 yards. He has at least four catches in six of those nine games, and is averaging 11.6 yards per reception.
The Lions are stacked with larger receivers like Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and T.J. Hockenson, explaining why Amendola has only found the end zone once this season. That’s not what they signed him for, however. He was a late addition to address the glaring need for a quick, shifty receiver, and he’s proving his worth more and more every game.
He doesn’t often make splash plays, but his shiftiness has proven valuable in third down situations and especially so on scramble drills. It also shows itself after the catch, with Amendola typically making a man miss before going down.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Amendola has another big game in the next week or two as Jeff Driskel gets comfortable in the offense, as Driskel’s scrambling ability will pair well with Amendola’s shifty nature as plays get extended.
Amendola isn’t a star, but this is just a “good job, keep up the good work” award for him. Unlike some other free agent signings (coughJesseJamescough), Amendola is living up to his paycheck and has been a consistently positive presence for the Lions this season.