David Andrews is returning to New England after all. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the free agent center is finalizing a deal with the Patriots. ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that it’s a four-year deal for the offensive lineman.
While the team captain is beloved in the locker room, it was uncertain if Andrews would end up returning to New England in 2021. We learned Tuesday night that Andrews’ camp was pivoting to other suitors’ offers after negotiating with the Patriots for much of the day. The veteran had made it clear that he wished to return to New England, and it sounded like Bill Belichick was willing to let Andrews test his market before re-signing. At one point, the Patriots didn’t expect to bring Andrews back, per Doug Kyed of NESN (on Twitter), explaining why the team added Ted Karras.
Andrews had at least one suitor outside of New England. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the Dolphins were in on Andrews’ services, even after the team inked Matt Skura to a deal.
Andrews joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2015, and he started 57 of his 60 appearances through his first four seasons in the NFL. He ended up missing the entire 2019 campaign after getting diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, but he managed to return in time for the 2020 season. He missed a handful of games with a thumb injury, ultimately appearing in 72-percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in 12 games.
There’s going to be a bit of change on the Patriots offensive line next season, as the team traded for offensive tackle Trent Brown before watching starting lineman Joe Thuney sign with the Chiefs. Andrews will certainly be relied on to provide veteran leadership and guidance to the offensive line in 2021.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.