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Pats pay Amendola a lot more than they offered Welker

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20: Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots reacts after a play against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Yes, Danny Amendola will make more per year on average than Wes Welker. The latter gets $6 million per year over two from Denver, the former gets $6.2 million per year over five from New England.

But here’s where it gets even more intriguing. Per multiple reports, the Pats offered Welker only $5 million annually -- $10 milllion on a two-year deal.

Welker is the better player than Amendola now, but it’s possible the Pats made this deal with the intention of giving quarterback Tom Brady a reliable slot receiver for each of the five remaining years of his contract. While Amendola has had plenty of injuries, he has the potential to become much better while working with Brady and the versatile Patriots offense.

As to Welker, maybe the Pats weren’t willing to pay more than $5 million per year because they believe he was grossly overpaid in 2012 under the franchise tag, at $9.5 million for one season. Then there’s the awkwardness that has unfolded in recent years, with Welker being benched for a playoff game after he defied Bill Belichick’s edict to stay away from the Rex Ryan foot-fetish story and Welker possibly being phased out early in the 2012 season and Welker saying it’s “nice to stick it in Bill’s face every once in a while” after a 13-catch performance in October.

Regardless, he’s out and Amendola is in and we’ve got a feeling the Pats will look for even more weapons.