INDIANAPOLIS - In the least surprising news of the day, general manager Les Snead revealed to the NFL Network that the St. Louis Rams will not use the franchise tag to keep Danny Amendola on the roster in 2013. He did not rule out Amendola's return to the team, but did state that the Rams would not be using the one-year, $10 million tender to keep him.
Snead tipped his hand about the team's view of Amendola earlier on Friday, during his press conference.
"Just like intangibles come into play, just like physical skill comes into play, just like production comes into play, your ability to be on the field comes into play," Snead replied when asked about the value of Amendola. "That's a fact of life. I think everybody knows it and I'd be remiss to not tell you that. So yes, you have to weigh that because you are going to produce more for the team if you are out there."
A group of Boston-based Patriots reporters joined Snead's small circle, doubtlessly trying to glean a little more information about a player that's been compared to a player they know quite well. They raised the question of durability among slot receivers (because repeating questions is just part of the routine at the Combine). Snead repeated his previous statement.
"Durability is definitely something you weigh but not No. 1," the Rams GM said. "In general, I think history can usually predict the future if there is certain patterns. Having one ACL and then coming back and nearly breaking Eric Dickerson's record is one thing I think you have to think about. History is a predictor but it's not a definite predictor."
Consider this, especially amid reports that not only will the Rams not franchise Amendola, but also that an asking price of $6 million may price him out of the team's future plans.
Amendola has played in 12 of 32 games in the last two seasons. He missed all but a few snaps in 2011 with a dislocated elbow that turned into a triceps tear. Last season, a freakish clavicle injury sidelined him for three weeks in the middle of the season, and a foot injury kept him out for two games later in the season and limited him down the stretch.
That's not exactly the kind of history Snead seems apt to overlook, based on his comments.
Amendola's absence gave Chris Givens the opportunity to expand his repertoire, getting more work on passes that might have otherwise gone to the incumbent. Givens saw 38 of his 77 targets in five games with Amendola on the sidelines. He caught 23 of those passes for 338 yards and a touchdown.
"We are excited about them," Snead said of Givens and running back Isaiah Pead. "They are both fast, teams are spreading people out, speed is huge and those two players have it. We are expecting them to be even better their sophomore year."