Danny Amendola was linked as a possible addition to the Tennessee Titans yesterday as soon as free agency opened. I thought it was a smoke screen of some sort at the beginning, not understanding why the Titans would be in pursuit of an expensive free agent WR with some many other important needs to be addressed. Later came the news that the Titans were also shopping WR Nate Washington; obviously related things.
It looks like the Titans are trying to dump WR Nate Washington and his $4.8 million salary in an attempt to make room for Amendola. I’m not a fan of that and I’m about to tell you why.
I’d like to start off by acknowledging Amendola’s talent. He’s a great young receiver with some excellent hands.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to why I think the Titans would be fools to pursue him.
Injuries. Amendola had a rough 2012, suffering through a broken collarbone and battling through some sort of heel injury that had him in a walking boot.
Notice anything about his past two seasons? The Rams didn’t pony up to pay Amendola the money he’s looking for, which is somewhere near the 5-year, $30 million that the Miami Dolphins Brian Hartline got, because they’re afraid of his injury history. I’m with them. It’s unsettling, especially for the numbers he’s asking.
Another reason I don’t think Amendola is a wise signing can be found in the stats above. His average YPC hit a record high in 2012… of 10.6. Earlier this offseason, I made the case of defending WR Kendall Wright’s low YPC (9.8) after B/R’s Nate Dunlevy dug into him over it. How can anyone want to bring in a guy who has had an entire career, sans one year, that’s been worse than that? Especially as a replacement to Washington, who has a career average of 15.1 yards per catch and is only a couple years older than the 27 year old Amendola.
Amendola has never broken the 700 yard receiving mark and his two seasons that he’s gotten in the mid-600s, he’s needed 60+ receptions to do so, where as Washington has repeatedly done it with 40+ receptions. Another thing about Washington: he’s never missed a game in his seven year career.
Finally, I’ll close it up with price. Amendola, as stated above, is looking for a contract resembling that of Brian Hartline’s, which means he’s looking for about $6 million a year. Washington is sitting at $4.8 million for this year. Amendola would have to come down of his perch $1 million dollars a year to be comparable to Washington, and even then, there are still the aforementioned issues with his health and production that make him a lesser valued receiver than Washington.
Amendola may have some sticky hands, but his health issues and sub-par production don’t do it for me. For comparison, only once in Wes Welker’s career has he averaged under 10.3 YPC (2010).
The Titans have an assortment of receivers. They can find somebody to do that job. Don’t blow the last of your money on an unnecessary addition. How about making Lavelle Hawkins earn that extension?
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart