FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, the No. 24 is held in high esteem when it comes to the cornerback position. Ty Law, a team Hall of Famer, wore those digits for 10 years. Darrelle Revis played just one season in New England, but he helped the team to its fourth Super Bowl title with No. 24 on his back.
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft announced on Friday that second-round draft pick Cyrus Jones, a corner from Alabama, would be the latest to sport the number.
"Cyrus will be wearing a special number to our family, No. 24," Kraft said. "There's a lot of good karma that goes with that number."
Jones was just two years old when Ty Law began his rookie season in 1995, but he said he understood Law's historical significance to the franchise despite their age difference.
"I knew who Ty Law was before I came here," Jones said, "and watched him as a young kid still trying to learn the game. Definitely remember him making a lot of plays on TV."
Of course there have been others who have worn No. 24 since Law and before Jones, including Kyle Arrington, Bradley Fletcher, and most recently Rashaan Melvin. But what Revis did for the Patriots in 2014 is still fresh in Jones' mind, having beaten Jones' hometown team, the Baltimore Ravens, in the Divisional Round of the playoffs before helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX.
"It's definitely a lot of history, guys like Ty Law, Darrelle Revis," Jones said. "Great defensive backs and great players. Two of the greatest players ever to step foot in the National Football League. There's definitely a legacy behind the number, and I want to make my own legacy with the number."
Danny Amendola’s not going anywhere. The Patriots wideout -- whose 2016 salary of $5 million and cap hit of $6.8 million were sticking out like a sore thumb -- reworked his deal according to a league source.
Amendola, who also reworked his contract in 2015, agreed to a two-year, $7.35 million deal with $750,000 in roster bonuses and incentives. Mike Garofalo of FOX Sports first reported the deal (yay, Mike!!).
In a statement, Amendola said, “It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys. We have one goal – to win another Championship and that’s all we care about.”
This is a win-win for Amendola and the team.
Signed as a free agent in 2013 to a five-year, $28 million deal, injuries prevented Amendola from settling into a role until the tail end of 2014. Once he did, he became a valuable alternate weapon to Julian Edelman as opposed to the redundancy as a quick, mid-range little dude.
In the 2014 Super Bowl run, Amendola had 11 catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns in three postseason games. Last year, he caught 65 for 648 yards and three touchdowns and led the league in punt return average (12-yard average on 23 returns).
At 30 and with a playing style and slight build that leads to injuries, Amendola -- despite his recent work -- probably would have had a tough time getting a better deal on the open market.
Meanwhile, given the track record of receiver pickups in New England, it’s very likely a free agent signee with more upside (like Mohamed Sanu or Marvin Jones) would have cost more but contributed less. Having Tom Brady’s trust, an understanding of the program and the ability to catch 60 passes and return punts are hard to overstate.
This redo was something everyone saw as needing to happen. Now that it has, the Patriots pay structure at wideout isn’t out of whack as it was and the team has some certainty going into minicamps about who will be here.
The team now has on its roster (in order of perceived on-field value) Edelman, Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Malcolm Mitchell, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper, Devin Lucien and De’Andre Carter in the fold.
Washington, Dobson, Harper, Lucien and Carter will fight to stick.
It's very clear Danny Amendola wants to remain a member of the Patriots. For the second time in two years, the veteran receiver has restructured his deal in order to remain with the team, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran.
Amendola's deal will pay him $7.35 million over the next two years. Amendola's new contract also allows him an opportunity to make $750,000 more in roster and receptions bonuses.
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 was the first to report the news.
In 2015, Amendola put together what was his best season in a Patriots uniform, finishing with 65 catches on 87 targets for 648 yards and three touchdowns. He was scheduled to make $5 million in base salary this year and count $6.8 million against the salary cap. In 2017, he was due $6 million in base salary and would have counted $7.86 million against the cap.
Amendola released a statement to Garafolo that said, "It's an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys. We have one goal -- to win another Championship and that's all we care about."
Amendola's original deal with the Patriots was set to pay him $4 million in base salary with a $5.7 million cap hit in 2015, but he re-worked it so that he was paid $1.25 million in base salary and his cap hit was knocked down to $3.11 million last year.
The Patriots receiver group appears to be solid at the top with Amendola, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan securely in the fold. The team also added a handful of pass-catchers this offseason -- including veteran Nate Washington and rookies Malcolm Mitchell and Devin Lucien -- who will compete for time alongside Keshawn Martin, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper and DeAndre Carter.