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New England Patriots center David Andrews is entering uncharted territory in 2021. For the first time in his pro career, he’s slated to be a free agent.
The veteran has never known another NFL home, having played his entire career in Foxborough for Bill Belichick. For the majority of that time, he snapped the ball to future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady, who left for Tampa before the 2020 season.
Andrews truly is a diamond in the rough, as he was brought in as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. He’s been as good as any center in the league, playing in 72 career games with 69 starts. He’s also walking around with a pair of Super Bowl rings.
So where is Andrews’ head at in terms of coming back to the Pats? It sounds like if New England can come up with a solid offer, he’d be more than happy to stick around in New England.
“We would love to stay,” Andrews wrote via Instagram. “New England is our home but we are up for anything.”
Andrews has earned the respect of his teammates. He is one of the captains on the roster, and he also showed toughness by overcoming a blood clotting issue that forced him to miss the entire 2019 season.
The injuries continued in 2020, when he missed four games due to a broken thumb.
How much the Patriots can spend to bring Andrews back remains to be seen. The Pats are third in the league in cap space behind Jacksonville and the New York Jets. They have $62 million that they can spend on potential free agents or players on their own roster.
With 25 free agents on their roster, expect Andrews to get plenty of attention from the team prior to the start of free agency.
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Like everything else in New England, it all revolves around “The Hoodie”. Only 5 coaches ever continued past age 67 and Belichick is now 68. Pete Carroll is 69 and under contract through 2021.
We gotta believe he wants one more shot at THE SUPE, so it makes sense to keep a rock like David Andrews calling the blocking schemes and stabilizing the O line. But Belichick has a tendency to let studs go (mostly D studs) before their expiration dates.
If Belichick can’t get a top tier QB under center, then Andrews is wasting the next few years (his last contract probably) in New England, and maybe he should listen to offers. If that sounds mercenary, and disloyal, well Andrews needs to remember Coach Goat’s M.O. when looking at veterans…loyalty isn’t part of the calculus.