Far apart in contract talks with Danny Amendola, the St. Louis Rams opted not to use the franchise tag on him last week. Now the team is preparing to lose its slot receiver to a higher bidder in free agency.
Citing those familiar with the negotiations, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday that Amendola is seeking a contract on par with the $6.1 million per year that Brian Hartline landed with the Miami Dolphins. The Rams are unwilling to go that high for a player who has missed 20 games because of injuries over the past two seasons.
Even though Amendola essentially requires an offense that plays primarily out of three-receiver sets, his representatives still expect a strong market for him. If teams such as the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins have legitimate interest, Amendola won't give the Rams a shot to keep him at a below-market rate.
Once Amendola departs, it will be interesting to see if Rams general manager Les Snead is willing to parlay one of his two first-round draft picks into an offer sheet for restricted free agent Victor Cruz. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport also has mentioned St. Louis as a possible landing spot for Greg Jennings.Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.