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Amendola: Patriots' offer wasn't close to others

From ESPN - April 13, 2018

BOSTON -- Wide receiver Danny Amendola detailed the factors that led him to leave the New England Patriots for the Miami Dolphins as a free agent this offseason, saying that after three years of taking a pay cut the team's offer fell significantly short compared to others he had received.

"I came in with an open mind. I understand Bill [Belichick] runs a tight ship, and he has not been known to pay his players, really. I understood that I gave money back to him so I could play for him and play for my teammates and fulfill my side of the contract, and at the end of the day, I had faith that he was going to give me an opportunity to stay," Amendola told ESPN.

"When free agency broke, I came to the realization that he was not going to really come close to any of the other offers I had," he said. "I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there."

Amendola, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Dolphins that included $8.25 million in bonuses and guarantees, was in New England on Friday as the featured guest at the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" event at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and ESPN rode with him to the event.

Speaking to the crowd at the event, Amendola praised Belichick as the "best coach to ever coach the game." In his interview with ESPN, Amendola also discussed how it was challenging to play for Belichick at times.

"It's not easy, that's for sure. He's an a--h--- sometimes. There were a lot of things I did not like about playing for him, but I must say, the things I did not like were all in regards to getting the team better, and I respected him," he said. "I did not like practicing in the snow, I did not like practicing in the rain, but that was going to make us a better football team and that was going to make me a better football player. It was not easy, and he'd be the first to admit, at the [Super Bowl] ring ceremony, that it was not easy playing for him. The silver lining was that we were at the ring ceremony."

Part of the Patriots' success under Belichick in the salary-cap era has been maintaining financial discipline and building a strong middle class on the roster, and that business side of the game is something Amendola said he learned early in his career when he was cut by two different teams before playing in his first career game.

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