The Detroit Lions are getting ahead of free agency, and their first move is one that’s equal parts predictable and logical. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Lions are signing former Dolphins and Patriots slot receiver Danny Amendola.
Former Dolphins’ WR Danny Amendola plans to sign with Detroit, per source. Amendola is in Detroit now, taking a physical and as long as there are no complications, he will be a Lion, reunited with GM Bob Quinn and HC Matt Patricia. #Lions— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 11, 2019
Amendola perfectly fits into the Lions’ glaring need at slot receiver after the team shipped Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third-round pick at the trade deadline last year. Last year, Amendola signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Dolphins. In 2018, he produced 575 yards and a touchdown on 59 catches.
However, a full coaching overhaul in Miami led to Amendola’s release last week, saving the Dolphins around $6 million in cap space.
Obviously, the Lions are bringing Amendola aboard with some familiarity. The slot receiver spent five seasons in New England (2013-17), tallying 230 catches for 2,383 yards and 12 touchdowns over that time.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Lions are signing Amendola to a one-year deal with $4.5 million base:
The #Lions plan to sign former #Patriots and #Dolphins WR Danny Amendola to a 1-year deal that includes $4.5M guaranteed base, source said. With incentives, that can bring him to $5.75M. Great addition to the locker room.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2019
That’s probably a nice discounted price for a slot receiver, but Detroit is also getting a 33-year-old pass catcher. Given that the $4.5 million is guaranteed, expect Amendola to play a significant role this year. But this is also clearly a short-term fix for something the Lions will be looking for a long-term solution.
UPDATE: It is now official: