New Patriots receiver Danny Amendola is used to following in Wes Welker's footsteps.

Welker was a sophomore at Texas Tech when Amendola committed to the Red Raiders, and now the St. Louis Rams free agent will have to replace one of the NFL's most prolific pass-catchers in New England.

"I've been hearing (the comparisons) for a long time," Amendola said in a conference call with New England reporters on Friday. "We went to the same college and I've been watching him play for a long time. He's a great player, he's been to a lot of Pro Bowls and he's done a lot of great things to help the Patriots win. One of my main goals is to fulfill my role and try to do what I can to help the Patriots win as well."

Also Friday, the Patriots signed former Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson, 33, who has 27 career interceptions and 25.5 career sacks, and former Buffalo Bills receiver Donald Jones, who has 82 receptions for 887 yards and six touchdowns in his career. And they saw running back Danny Woodhead, their second-leading rusher with 301 yards and four touchdowns, sign with the San Diego Chargers.

Welker was Tom Brady's favorite target during his stay in New England, with at least 100 receptions in five of the six years -- including an AFC-leading 118 last season. But a year after tagging him as their franchise player, the Patriots allowed Welker to walk as a free agent and he signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos.

Amendola finalized his five-year, $31 million deal with New England the same day and he held a conference call with Boston-area reporters Friday.

"You've seen in the NFL the Patriots do a lot of great things in the past," Amendola said. "It's a high-caliber football team and organization and it's a great opportunity to be a part of."

Welker had 672 receptions and 37 touchdowns during his six years in New England, and it was widely reported that Brady had renegotiated his contract to allow the team to re-sign some of its free agents.

In other Patriots news:

- Cornerback Kyle Arrington signed a four-year extension with the team.

- Wilson, defensive end John Abraham, linebacker Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders visited the team Friday.

Abraham, 34, formerly of Atlanta, has 122 career sacks. Freeney, 33, formerly of the Colts, has 107.5 career sacks.

If the Patriots sign Sanders they'll owe the Steelers compensation.