FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who emerged as an integral part of the team's run to Super Bowl XLIX, spoke Tuesday about his decision to take a pay cut to remain with the club in 2015.
"I love playing for this team, for these coaches, for this organization," Amendola told reporters at Gillette Stadium. "I have family out here. This is home to me. I love playing here. This is a great experience, and I'd like to prolong that for as long as I can. It's been fun."
Amendola's base salary in 2015 decreased from $4 million to $1.25 million, saving the Patriots $2.58 million on the salary cap.
"It's a business. Everybody treats it like a business," he said. "You love playing football, you love being around the locker room, and that's really the most important thing for me. I love the group we have here. I love the work ethic everybody puts in each week. I love being here, and that's why I chose to come back. ...
"I'm focused on the future. I have a lot of football to play," he said. "I have a chip on my shoulder still. I want to play good football for a long time."
A few other notable items from Amendola's media session:
Feeling rejuvenated. Amendola said he feels in great shape physically. He said Tuesday's conditioning session was "probably the best we've had as a team" to date.
Enjoying his White House visit. Amendola took great pleasure in being the first in his family to shake the hand of the President, at last week's White House visit. He also took President Barack Obama's poorly-received "Deflategate" joke in stride. "He's a funny guy," he said. As for Tom Brady not attending, Amendola said, "Tom's our leader, Tom's our guy. I don't know what his political stance is."
Undrafted status leaves a mark. With the draft two days away, Amendola reflected on his own time going undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2008. "You're labeled, so you run with that your whole career," he said. "I wanted the opportunity back then, and I got it. You just try to make the most of those."
Praise for Fletcher, Gibson. Amendola had high praise for former St. Louis Rams teammates Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Gibson, who both joined the Patriots this offseason. He considers himself close with Fletcher, who as an Eagle last summer covered him during the teams' joint practices. "He's big, he's physical. He's instinctive. He'll come up and hit you as a cornerback, too, that's something you like to see." Amendola called Gibson, who played receiver with him for four years in St. Louis, "my brother", saying, "He's been around the game a long time. We're happy to have him."
Danny Amendola addressing the media pic.twitter.com/3KyCJp9rUo— Brendan C. Hall (@BHallESPN) April 28, 2015