According to reports from Mike Reiss of ESPN and Tom Curran of CSNNE.com, the Patriots actually signed St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola on Tuesday, one day before Wes Welker signed with the Broncos and before the Pats announced the agreement with Amendola.The Patriots and Amendola agreed to a five year, $31 million deal with $10 guaranteed, supposedly on Wednesday. However, it appears that the Patriots had actually signed with New England on Tuesday, the first day of free agency. According to Reiss' report, the risk of losing both Amendola and Welker was way too risky for them and acted fast on locking in Amendola.Welker's representatives and the Pats halted talks on Tuesday and that prompted the Pats to make a decision of Amendola. The Patriots did eventually offer Welker a two year, $10 million contract that could push it up to $16 million with incentives. However, Welker felt that these incentives were too difficult to reach and did not agree to New England's deal.Curran reports that Welker and his reps remained steadfast in the thought that Welker was worth $8-$9 million per season. The Pats disagreed and, after that, it was clear that Welker was heading elsewhere.If the Patriots felt that they couldn't get a deal done with Welker, and it looked that way as time progressed, they felt comfortable with a younger Amendola with a long-term deal. The Patriots also felt comfortable that Amendola had worked with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in the past. McDaniels was the Rams offensive coordinator in 2011.Welker was the one who contacted the Broncos about a deal. According to a source, the Broncos were interested, but were concerned with potentially insulting Welker with such a low deal because they had already committed money elsewhere. Welker felt more at ease taking a low deal from a new team rather than taking one with a team that he produced great numbers for.Welker actually had another offer from an AFC team, an offer of two years, $15 million, the highest offer he received, but Welker didn't agree with this team because he viewed the unknown team as not a contender in the AFC. It was important that the Broncos are contenders in the AFC and that may have tipped the scales for Welker.Only time will tell if the Patriots made the right move with the younger Danny Amendola or if they made a fatal mistake in letting the record breaking Wes Welker walk to one of its AFC rivals.
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