Danny Amendola, Wes Welker And Contract Talk

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Wide receiver Danny Amendola #16 of the St. Louis Rams enters the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

There are strange rumblings out of New England that Wes Welker could be on the trade block. These are by no means the first signs of trouble there, and the situation briefly drew in St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, because every time Welker is mentioned, so is his counterpart in scrappiness.

Diminutive white receiver jokes aside, the situation is worth keeping an eye on because a Patriots offense without Welker will immediately have pundits putting Amendola, scheduled for unrestricted free agency in 2013, into the mix as a replacement. More realistically, the outcome of Welker's situation could touch contract negotiations with Amendola.

First and foremost with New England, you just have to accept that nothing is what it seems. Mike Freeman from CBS threw out the trade talk, and it is plausible based on what happened earlier this year. The Baltimore Sun has a more likely scenario, one that will be familiar to Rams fans: Josh McDaniels outsmarted himself.

The franchise tag situation is a pretty good indicator that Welker's days in Boston are numbered. He's 31 this year, and any team would be hesitant to sign him to a long-term deal at this stage in his career.

With Welker gone, they could come after his clone in Amendola in free agency. That assumes Amendola would reach free agency. The Rams reportedly would like to ink him to a long term deal. They could also franchise him, especially now that James Laurinaitis and Chris Long are locked up with new contracts to keep them in St. Louis for a long time.

Welker's value could set Amendola's on the market. Not just because sports writers are inherently lazy, but because they do have similar career tracks. What will determine Amendola's value more than anything are the numbers he puts up this year.

He's averaging 115 yards per game, a number that would put him at 1,840 yards this season. That's probably not a sustainable number. Using his average yards per catch you get a more realistic idea. At 11.5 yards per reception, assuming he makes 85 catches again, that's 977 yards. Still a very good number.

The value of Amendola to the Rams is pretty clear, and Schottenheimer is diversifying his range in this offense.

What would you pay for him?

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