The NFL team that currently holds the smallest amount of salary cap space for the 2022 season completed a move today in order to provide a little bit of breathing room. ESPN’s Field Yates reported today that the Patriots restructured the contract of veteran center David Andrews, granting them a bit of cap space for the upcoming season.
Andrews went undrafted in 2015, signing with New England as a free agent. Due to injuries to then-starting center Bryan Stork and backup Ryan Wendell, Andrews impressed in ample playing time during the preseason and earned the starting spot for Week 1 of his rookie season. He eventually ceded the position to his healthy teammates, but beat out Stork in an offseason competition for the starting job the following season.
Andrews has gone on to hold down the center position as a full-time starter for the past six years, excluding the 2019 season that saw him miss the entire year due to a pulmonary embolism. He did miss four games in the season immediately following 2019, but proved his health last year by playing 98.6% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, with the next closest lineman being Shaq Mason who was on the field for 86.5% of New England’s offensive snaps.
After Andrews had completed his first season as a full-time starter in 2016, he and the Patriots agreed to a three-year, $9MM contract extension. After playing out that contract to become a free agent last offseason, Andrews decided to re-sign with New England on a four-year, $19MM deal.
The restructuring completed today reportedly creates $2.1MM in cap space for the 2022 season by converting $3.15MM of compensation into a signing bonus. Andrews’ contract will now hold a cap hit of $4.28MM for the upcoming season as the Patriots look to regain supremacy atop the AFC East.