With the Patriots losing receiver Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos, the Pats were left a little bit short on depth at the receiver position. But they have recovered quickly, as they signed two quality guys to help lessen the blow of Welker leaving. Danny Amendola was signed to a 5 year deal yesterday, and now today Donald Jones has signed a 3 year deal with the Pats.
Personally I absolutely love this move. Amendola is a slot guy and he will be the primary guy that will attempt to replace what Welker did. Jones bigger and faster than both Welker and Amendola, and probably will see most of his playing time on the outside. The main thing that has been missing from the Patriots offense over the last few years has been a guy that can get deep and take the top off of a defense. Well, I think that Jones has the capability of doing this. His career numbers are not that impressive, but based on “the eye test” I think he can make a big impact.
The Patriots have had a first hand look at what Jones can do on the field, as in two games against the Pats in 2012, Jones had 8 catches for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. He burned the Patriot secondary multiple times last year, and I would assume that led to the Pats wanting to go after him.
This move also lets the Pats get the receiver core set pretty early. They obviously still have their two TE’s with Gronkowski and Hernandez, and if Amendola is healthy, he will man the slot position. Brandon Lloyd is the big wild-card in all of this. If he takes a pay cut and stays with the Patriots, then I really think that they are set for receivers, in terms of guys that will play significant time. If Lloyd is not brought back, then the Pats will have to find another guy in free agency, or via the draft that can play outside of the numbers. If needed I think Jones could really handle playing on the outside for the Patriots. He has all of the skills needed, and if given some time to develop and work with Brady, I think he will turn into a solid player.
When Welker left, I can tell you that I was a little bit scared for what the Patriots offense would look like in 2013. However, now that the Pats have signed Amendola and Jones, I think the Patriots offense will produce just as well as it did last year. In my opinion once they get done finalizing the receiving core, they will have more weapons for Brady to play with. Between Amendola, Jones, the two TE’s and hopefully Lloyd, the Pats will be able to attack the opposing teams defense in pretty much whatever way they would like. Then you throw in a very good running game behind Steven Ridley, and I truly believe that the Patriots offense will once again finish in the top 5 in the league.