Wide re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola will be leav­ing the Pa­tri­ots to sign with the Dol­phins to­day when free agency of­fi­cially be­gins.

Club ex­er­cises $9.3 mil­lion op­tion to keep RT James.

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Lieser and Joe Schad Palm Beach Post Staff Writ­ers

Amen­dola, 32, spent the last five sea­sons with New Eng­land.

The Dol­phins are sign­ing two vet­eran wide re­ceivers to re­place the pro­duc­tion of Jarvis Landry, who was traded to Cleve­land last week.

Af­ter the Dol­phins agreed to a four-year, $32 mil­lion deal with for­mer Kansas City re­ceiver Al­bert Wil­son on Tues­day, long­time New Eng­land wide re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola also de­cided to join Mi­ami.

Mean­while, free-agent place-kicker Cody Parkey is headed to the Chicago Bears.

One player who ap­par­ently is staying put is right tackle Ja’Wuan James. Mi­ami ex­er­cised a $9.3 mil­lion team op­tion on James for the 2018 sea­son, and it ap­pears he will play on that con­tract this year. James and left tackle Laremy Tun­sil both posted mes­sages on In­sta­gram on Tues­day hint­ing that they will con­tinue to play to­gether.

The Dol­phins will be able to re­scind the op­tion if James has re­cov­ered from the ham­string in­jury that ended his 2017 sea­son in Novem­ber. Coach Adam Gase in­di­cated last month they were con­sid­er­ing go­ing that route.

The team still has un­til to­day at 4 p.m. to re­scind James’ con­tract, which would make him an un­re­stricted free agent. There likely would be a strong mar­ket for him.

With Landry headed to Cleve­land, the Dol­phins were in the mar­ket for re­ceivers.

The fact that Amen­dola, 32, was avail­able was a bit of a sur­prise con­sid­er­ing he’s twice taken less money to stay with New Eng­land. NFL Net­work re­ported that he will sign for two years, $12 mil­lion with $8.25 mil­lion guar­an­teed.

He caught 61 passes for 659 yards and two touch­downs with the Pa­tri­ots last year.

One of his more mem­o­rable mo­ments of the sea­son, to Dol­phins fans, was an al­ter­ca­tion with Mi­ami cor­ner­back Bobby McCain when the teams met in Novem­ber. McCain was ejected for ap­pear­ing to throw a punch at Amen­dola af­ter what he de­scribed as a lot of “ex­tra stuff ” by Amen­dola like grab­bing his neck and face­mask.

Amen­dola is a nine-year vet­eran who broke into the league as an un­drafted free agent out of Texas Tech in 2008. Af­ter a year-plus on prac­tice squads in Dal­las and Philadel­phia, he got his chance with the Rams in ’09.

He’s had five sea­sons of at least 630 re­civ­ing yards and four of 60-plus catches. He was part of New Eng­land’s Su­per Bowl cham­pion teams in 2014 and ’16.

Wil­son, who played for Port St. Lucie High School, was signed out of Ge­or­gia State as an un­drafted free agent. Only 5-foot-9, he has run a 4.43-sec­ond 40-yard dash and is strong for his size. Wil­son has com­pared him­self to for­mer Pan­thers and Ravens wide re­ceiver Steve Smith.

Wil­son, who had 42 re­cep­tions for 554 yards and three TDs last sea­son, once said for­mer Mi­ami Hur­ri­cane Devin Hester was his fa­vorite player. Wil­son’s quick­ness and ver­sa­til­ity will give Gase myr­iad op­tions in 2018.

Wil­son was dubbed the Chiefs’ “En­er­gizer Bunny” by for­mer of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Matt Nagy, ac­cord­ing to the Kansas City Star. In one ar­ti­cle, Nagy raved about Wil­son’s block­ing, route run­ning and com­fort with Kansas City’s schemes. Nagy said that Wil­son “knows what he is do­ing,” which will cer­tainly please Gase. Nagy added that Wil­son has ex­cel­lent hands and plays fast.

The Dol­phins now have their top four re­ceivers in Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Wil­son and Amen­dola. That leaves lit­tle room for back­ups Ja­keem Grant, Leonte Car­roo and Rashawn Scott to carve out play­ing time.

Grant still has value as a re­turn man and showed flashes of po­ten­tial as a re­ceiver late last sea­son with 10 catches for 188 yards and two touch­downs over the fi­nal four games.

Car­roo’s spot is more ten­u­ous. The Dol­phins traded up to get him in the third round of the 2016 draft, but he has 10 catches in 28 games.

Parkey, from Jupiter, came to Mi­ami a week be­fore the start of last sea­son and hit a 54-yard game-win­ner in his de­but. That was just the be­gin­ning. He made 21 of 23 field-goal at­tempts, miss­ing only from 48 and 50 yards, and be­came the first kicker in doc­u­mented NFL his­tory to con­vert four on­side kicks in a sea­son.

He was also at the cen­ter of the best kick­off cov­er­age unit in the league, with Dol­phins’ op­po­nents get­ting an av­er­age start­ing field po­si­tion at their own 23-yard line.

Mi­ami is let­ting that tal­ent walk out the door and will search for a kicker once again. Since the Dol­phins cut Dan Car­pen­ter in 2013, no kicker has lasted more than two sea­sons.

Parkey’s lone sea­son in South Florida was a dream come true for a life­long Dol­phins fan. Af­ter his game-win­ner against the Charg­ers in the opener, he made the game-ty­ing and game-win­ning field goals at At­lanta and a 39-yarder with 22 sec­onds left to beat the Jets.

Keep­ing James gives Mi­ami three starters on the of­fen­sive line locked in for the up­com­ing sea­son. In ad­di­tion to him and Tun­sil, the Dol­phins have Mike Pouncey en­trenched at cen­ter.

They have two guards in Jesse Davis and Ted Larsen, but the ques­tion now is whether they’re con­tent to push ahead with this start­ing five. Larsen played left guard last sea­son, but said he wanted to switch to right. Davis played both guard spots and right tackle.

The team said one ob­jec­tive this off­sea­son was to de­ter­mine where Davis fits best, and hang­ing on to James rules out right tackle.

The Dol­phins still can con­sider al­ter­na­tives at guard in free agency, though ex-Carolina guard An­drew Nor­well agreed to a five-year, $66.5 mil­lion deal with the Jaguars on Tues­day morn­ing.



Re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola is leav­ing the Pa­tri­ots as a free agent for the Dol­phins. The nine-year vet­eran also played for the Rams.

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