For second year in a row, Danny Amendola shows what's most important to him

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola accepted a pay cut in his base salary from $4 million to $1.5 million last year, it wasn't an easy decision.

"It took me a couple days and a lot of talking," he said last December. "Was that a decision I would have made five years ago? I don't know. I can't say that it would be."

But he did it for a simple reason: He couldn't put a price on playing meaningful games at the end of the year.

"When it came down to it, it was also about playing good football. I've been on a 1-15 team. I've been on teams that never made it to the playoffs. It wasn't fun playing meaningless football," he told ESPN.com last year. "When you're playing meaningful football at the end of the season, and every play and every route that you run counts, every ball you catch counts, and it's either win or go home, what I found in the sense of coming here is that's the most rewarding thing.

"I understand it's a business. Money wasn't really something I was counting in that situation. ... I feel like I want to be part of something good. I want to play good football, and my family is here. Those were really the three things that helped me with the decision."

Now Amendola, entering his fourth season in New England, has done it again.

In one of the most important moves of the Patriots' offseason, Amendola has agreed to a reduction in his contract, which called for him to earn $5 million in base salary in 2016 and $6 million in 2017. He would have counted $6.8 million on the salary cap in 2016.

From management's viewpoint, those would have been high numbers for Amendola's role on the team; No. 3 receiver and punt returner who played 51.5 percent of the offensive snaps in 2015. If there wasn't a reduction, the assumption was that the team would release him.

So this situation was coming to a head, which had been foreshadowed in recent months.

In the end, Amendola showed for the second year in a row what is most important to him, a decision that should further endear him to Patriots fans.