After 13 NFL seasons, two of which he spent with the Detroit Lions, Danny Amendola has opted to call it a career.
An undrafted free agent who lasts 13 NFL seasons is a rare breed. Danny Amendola did. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (and despite legitimate interest from multiple teams), he has decided to retire at 36 years old.
Via Schefter, Amendola had a brief comment on his career.
It was better than I could have ever imagined,”
Amendola landed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech in 2008 and spent that season on Dallas’ practice squad. After a brief run on the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad to start the 2009 season, he found a home with the St. Louis Rams. After four seasons there, he spent the next five seasons with the New England Patriots and won two Super Bowl rings.
After one season with the Miami Dolphins, Amendola signed with the Lions in 2019 to help then-head coach Matt Patricia install the “Patriot Way” in Detroit.
Danny Amendola had a pretty productive run with the Lions
Amendola became an immediate influence on the younger receivers in Detroit, and built quick chemistry with Matthew Stafford. In 2019, the veteran slot man had 62 receptions for 678 yards and one touchdown. The catch total was better than all but one of his Patriots’ years. The yardage output bested all of his seasons in New England, and was the second-best of his career.
In 2020 for the Lions, Amendola had 46 catches for 602 yards. After no effort was made to re-sign him in 2021, as Detroit entered a rebuild and turned over their wide receiver corps, he signed with his hometown Houston Texans. In eight games for them last season, before landing on IR, Amendola had 24 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
If he were still an active player, Amendola would be top-20 among active receptions leaders with 617. That total sits 82nd on the overall all-time catch list right now.