Detroit Lions sign wide receiver Danny Amendola to one-year deal

Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press
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The Detroit Lions have a new slot receiver, and they didn't have to break the bank to sign him.

The Lions signed veteran Danny Amendola to a one-year deal worth up to $5.75 million on Monday.

Amendola spent last season with the Miami Dolphins and played the five years before that with the New England Patriots, where current Lions head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator.

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The 33-year-old has 485 catches in his 10-year career, but has never had more than 689 yards receiving in a season.

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By signing Amendola hours before the free-agent negotiating window opens, the Lions effectively took themselves out of the slot receiver market. They had been looking for a replacement for Golden Tate, and had been linked to the likes of Adam Humphries and Jamison Crowder in free agency.

Patriots receiver Danny Amendola celebrates his touchdown catch against the Jaguars during the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 in Foxborough, Mass.

Humphries, considered the top slot receiver on the market, is expected to command a deal worth more than $10 million annually.

The Lions entered last season with one of the most promising receiving corps in the NFL, but the unit fell apart amid trades and injuries late in the season.

The Lions sent Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles at the October trade deadline for a third-round draft pick and lost Marvin Jones to season-ending knee surgery a few weeks later.

Jones and leading receiver Kenny Golladay remain under contract for 2019, and the Lions almost certainly will add to the position in April's draft.

Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24.    (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Brandon Powell, Chris Lacy and Andy Jones also will compete for roster spots.

While the structure of Amendola's deal is not known, the Lions will enter free agency with more than $35 million in cap space, a number that could grow if they release cornerback Nevin Lawson before his $1.25 million roster bonus is due later this week.

The Lions are expected to be in on several high-profile defensive players in free agency, including defensive end Trey Flowers, linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Pierre Desir.

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