Patriots sound like they’re about to lose David Andrews

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 28: David Andrews #60 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 28: David Andrews #60 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

To say that the New England Patriots have come out aggressive in free agency would be a colossal understatement, as de facto general manager Bill Belichick has almost spent more over the last three days than he has in the last decade combined.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, however, there’s a downside to signing every free agent under the sun.

They’ve already watched star offensive lineman Joe Thuney ink a five-year, $80 million contract with the Chiefs after they reportedly made a last-ditch attempt to bring him back.

That’s a crushing blow for New England, as Thuney was arguably their most valuable OL across the last several years, never missing a game over five seasons and filling in at multiple positions when other starters were missing due to injury.

Now, however, the latest buzz suggests the Pats are poised to lose another key lineman this offseason.

Per insider Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, center David Andrews has decided to negotiate with other teams after weighing offers from the Pats on Tuesday.

It sounds like the Patriots are about to lose David Andrews to free agency.

This doesn’t confirm that Andrews is headed elsewhere, but considering that the Patriots have about $20 million cap space remaining and are seemingly set on making more additions, it would be fairly surprising if the former undrafted talent re-signed.

Andrews has been the epitome of consistent since entering the league in 2015, playing a whopping 85.2% of the offensive snaps during that span. That obviously discounts the 2019 campaign, of which he missed the entirety after being diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, but we’re not going to hold that against him.

It’s worth noting that Thuney played ample snaps at center filling in for Andrews that year, so the latter departing in free agency would leave the Patriots with serious concerns at the position, regardless of the recent upgrades they’ve made to the rest of the line.

As far as potential replacements are concerned, ESPN reporter Cameron Wolfe identified former  lineman Ted Karras, who started 15 games for the Patriots in 2019 before joining the Dolphins as a free agent that offseason, as somebody to keep an eye on.

Per Wolfe, it sounds like the Andrews sweepstakes could come down to Miami or New England, but you have think more teams will pitch offers to the 28-year-old stud, who is fully healthy and smack in the middle of his prime.

Talking about a potential departure during a period in which the Patriots are clearly announcing to the rest of the league that they plan on contending next season doesn’t sit right.

However, given Andrews’ importance to the offensive line and the lack of viable options out there to replace him — the recently-released Rodney Hudson is probably too expensive — this is a major development that could end up having serious consequences.