ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Danny Amendola #16 of the St. Louis Rams dislocates his elbow during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles defeated the Rams 31-15. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Roster cuts are not the only thing happening on Friday in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams are working on a contract extension for wide receiver Danny Amendola in addition to a new deal for linebacker James Laurinaitis, says Howard Balzer of XMSirius.
Amendola was tendered as a restricted free agent this year at the second-round level, a one-year deal worth $1.9 million. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
The Rams brought Amendola over in 2009, plucking him out of oblivion on NFL practice squads. He made a name for himself right away as a return man, leading the league with 66 kick returns and 1,618 return yards. Punt returns might be his best asset on special teams, and he has returned 72 during his time with the Rams.
He broke out as a receiver in 2010 working out of the slot and becoming then-rookie quarterback Sam Bradford's favorite, most reliable target with 85 catches. it is not hyperbole to say that losing him in Week 1 last year put a serious dent on the Rams' season.
Brian Schottenheimer has been moving him around, using him more frequently on the outside. That versatility increases his value. Observers will also note deeper throws to Amendola in the new offensive system.
A new deal with James Laurinaitis is expected prior to the start of the season. Time will tell if that happens as well as a deal for Amendola.