Source: Eagles interested in Danny Amendola

Source: Eagles interested in Danny Amendola
March 10, 2013, 10:45 pm
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Free agency starts Tuesday afternoon and there are strong indications that the Eagles will try to add some offensive firepower from the open market.

They’re interested in pursuing Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, a person with direct knowledge of the team’s free agency plans told Amendola, who has two 60-plus catch seasons in the past three years, is one of the NFL’s most productive slot wideouts, although he can also play outside and is an excellent return specialist.

Amendola, 27, spent his past four seasons with the Rams but won’t be re-signed, according to a Sunday report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The former Texas Tech wide receiver spent about a week on the Eagles’ practice squad in 2009 before the Rams, then coached by Pat Shurmur, signed him.

Shurmur is back with the Eagles as offensive coordinator under first-year head coach Chip Kelly, who has never coached in the NFL at any level. Amendola’s skill set fits with the up-tempo, spread offense that Kelly intends to implement.

Unclear is how hard the Eagles plan to pursue Amendola and the dollar figure they’re willing pony up. High-ranking team executives and agents have kept quiet, even privately, in fear of violating rules set forth by the NFL that limit specific contract discussions until 4 p.m. Tuesday, the first day of the league year.

If he signed with the Eagles, the 5-foot-11, 183-pound Amendola would join a crowded house of wideouts that includes two-time Pro Bowl deep threat DeSean Jackson along with Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson. But if the Eagles were able to secure Amendola to a long-term deal, it would likely mean that one current wideout -- and maybe two -- would be headed out the door.

Amendola has battled injuries over the past two years but he’s very productive when healthy, especially in a possession-receiver role.

In 11 games last season he caught 63 passes for 666 yards. Those numbers prorated to a 16-game season would equate to 92 receptions for 970 yards. He tied an NFL record for receptions in a half Sept. 16 when he reeled in 12 passes in the first half of a game against the Redskins.

In 2011, he had caught five passes for 45 yards in the season opener against the Eagles but suffered a broken collarbone in the second quarter and didn’t play the rest of the year. The year before, he played all 16 games and set personal bests with 85 receptions for 698 yards and three touchdowns.

Amendola suffered a dislocated clavicle last October against Arizona, an injury that reportedly almost killed him because the bone bent toward the heart and trachea. The Rams weren’t sure when -- or if -- Amendola would be able to return, but he only missed three weeks and grabbed 11 catches for 102 yards in his first game back, a tie against the 49ers.

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