Friday - April 20th, 2018

Danny Amendola explains why he left New England (Hint: It involves Belichick)

Danny Amendola explains why he left New England (Hint: It involves Belichick)

Danny Amendola was done being Bill Belichick's good soldier.

After three straight years of playing for under market value, Amendola, now 32, wanted to be paid like he deserved.

Belichick, the Patriots' infamously gruff and demanding coach, took a hard pass.

And as a result, Amendola is a Miami Dolphins after signing a two-year, $12 million contract last month.

Amendola, who seemed to always make a big play when the Patriots needed one during his five years in Massachusetts, explained to ESPN why he elected to move on.

"I came in with an open mind. I understand Bill [Belichick] runs a tight ship, and he hasn't 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 wasn't going to really come close to any of the other offers I had," he continued. "I had to make a decision for my family and go down to Miami and continue my career there."

Amendola officially begins work with his new team Monday for the start of the Dolphins' offseason conditioning program. But he has already caught passes from new quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"I'm not the oldest guy on the team, but I've been around for a while, and I know what it takes to win a championship, I know what it takes to have a successful atmosphere," Amendola said. "I'm really excited just to share my knowledge in that respect, be a good teammate, whatever they ask me to do, and trying to catch as many balls as possible. ... It's a great opportunity to make new friendships and explore other football avenues. I'm really excited to continue to play."

Amendola is part of the Dolphins' planned culture change after a lot of "[expletive] that has gone on" in Miami's locker room.

Amendola had both praise and criticism for Belichick on his way out the door:

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

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