BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick has had to say goodbye to a handful of key players this offseason.
Danny Amendola took his talents to South Beach and will no longer be making key third-down catches for the Patriots, Nate Solder will soon protect the blindside of Eli Manning in New York, and both Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler received big paydays from the Titans.
Their departures was one of the many topics Belichick addressed during Tuesday morning’s coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Florida, and while he admitted that quartet will be missed, he added that those big offers priced them out of New England’s budget.
“They signed contracts that were better than what we were able to give them. They all did a great job for us,” said Belichick. “We wouldn’t have had the success we had without the contributions of those and many other players.”
Belichick singled out Amendola, who was huge with 26 catches and three touchdowns in New England’s run to Super Bowl LII last season.
“Love Danny. Did a great job for us. Great competitor,” said Belichick. “Played a lot of different roles. Tremendous person. Wish him well in opportunity he has, other than the times we play him.”
With Amendola remaining in the AFC East, Belichick and the Patriots will see their former receiver twice during the regular season.
Belichick did not comment on Butler’s Super Bowl LII benching, which he really didn’t have much to say about on Monday.