David Andrews

AFC East Notes: Hyde, Wilson, Patriots

Bills safety Micah Hyde was expected to miss the rest of the season while he continued to recover from his neck injury. As Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic writes, there could be a glimmer of hope that Hyde is back on the field during the 2022 season.

Hyde’s recent neck surgery helped eliminate the lingering pain that the veteran had been dealing with, and the safety has been active with the Bills for the past month. This includes work (alongside other inactive players) with the strength and conditioning staff, with Buscaglia writing that the safety was spotted running drills with injured members of the 53-man roster. Hyde later told the reporter that he’s taking his rehab one day at a time, but he left the door open for a return this season.

“I would love to. I would love to. We’ll see,” Hyde said. “It’s not really up to me. It’s kind of up to the doctors. Historically, no. But I’m not dealing with… those are other people, other situations. So, we’ll see what happens.”

At the very least, it’s encouraging that Hyde didn’t definitively reject the idea of a 2022 return. Now in his sixth season in Buffalo, it wouldn’t be shocking if the veteran makes a push to play as the Bills pursue a Super Bowl ring.

Some more notes out of the AFC East…

  • Despite Zach Wilson‘s disastrous Week 11 performance (and, later, his inability to take responsibility for the loss to the Patriots), the Jets continue to support the now-benched quarterback, with Robert Saleh previously indicating that this isn’t the end of the former first-round pick’s career in New York. Following the fallout from Wilson’s post-game presser, the QB still needed to win back his locker room. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Wilson apologized to teammates for his post-game remarks, and while he supported fill-in Mike White, the quarterback also made it clear that he’ll be back under center before long. “It was the only thing I could think of the last couple of days,” Wilson said (via Cimini). “I wanted the opportunity to talk to those guys and really make it from the heart.”
  • Speaking of Wilson’s Jets teammates, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Jets players have been concerned about their starting QB’s performance for some time. Whether Wilson’s struggles were mental or fundamental, Rapoport notes that the organization hope Wilson’s mental break will help the QB both for this season and beyond.
  • Some good news on the injury front for the Patriots. Center David Andrews suffered what was thought to be a serious thigh injury during New England’s win over the Jets in Week 11, but Rapoport tweets that the lineman escaped a serious injury and could return for the end of the season or the playoffs. Jeff Howe of The Athletic adds (on Twitter) that while there’s no clear timeline on Andrews’ return, the veteran will do everything in his power to get back on the field.
  • The Patriots saved a chunk of money recently. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter), the Patriots reworked safety Cody Davis‘ contract. The move saved the organization about $250K against the cap. The veteran inked a two-year, $4.5MM deal with the Patriots prior to the 2021 season and is set to hit free agency following the 2022 campaign.

Patriots OL David Andrews, Isaiah Wynn To Miss Time

New England’s interior offensive line took some hits in today’s win over the Jets. Both starting center David Andrews and left guard Isaiah Wynn left today’s game with injuries that could force the Patriots to reconfigure their men upfront for the remainder of the year.

Andrews has been the longtime center in New England since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2015. While he’s missed his fair share of games in the past with injuries, a seven-game season would easily be a career-low for the 30-year-old out of Georgia. Andrews left today’s game with a thigh injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He’ll undergo more testing to determine the severity of the injury, but the Patriots are reportedly not expecting good news as they fear the injury may end his season.

Wynn has also been a consistent starting presence on the Patriots offensive line since being selected in the first-round four years ago. Wynn was originally intended to contribute as a tackle but was moved inside in 2020 and has continued in that role this season. Wynn is, unfortunately, a bit more accustomed to missing extended periods of time than Andrews. Wynn tore his Achilles tendon in 2018, forcing him to miss his entire rookie season. He spent stretches of time on injured reserve in each of the following two seasons for a toe injury and a knee injury. Wynn left today’s game “with a foot injury,” according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, and could also miss extended time due to the ailment. He, too, will undergo further testing in order to determine the extent of the injury.

Rookie Cole Strange is expected to fill in for Wynn during any time he may miss. The two have been jostling in recent weeks for a starting spot, despite both holding starting roles for most of the season. With Wynn out, New England will have little choice but to let Strange take the opportunity. Andrew’s backup is James Ferentz, who started at center for each of the past two games that Andrews has missed lately.

These injuries seem to pile onto similar blows to the team’s offensive line this season. Andrews could be joining Chasen Hines and Marcus Cannon on IR, and, even if Wynn doesn’t get assigned to IR, he may be sitting out like Andrew Stueber has done recently due to injury.

Before today’s win over their division-opponents, the Patriots were fourth in the AFC East. They now sit at third with a 6-4 record, one win behind current division leaders Miami (7-3) and Buffalo (7-3). The injuries will certainly make it difficult for New England to stay in what has turned into a very intriguing division race.

Matthew Stafford Cleared For Week 11 Return

The Rams were on the losing end of an all-backup quarterback battle last week, but they are set to have their starter available under center on Sunday. Matthew Stafford has been removed from the team’s injury report and is in line to play against the Saints.

Stafford had missed Los Angeles’ loss to the Cardinals in Week 10 due to a concussion. He made steady progress in recent days, though, lining him up to be cleared in time for Sunday’s game. The Rams turned to backup John Wolford in Stafford’s absence, with the exception of a handful of snaps given to rookie Bryce Perkins.

Stafford being back at the helm will be a welcomed sight, despite that fact that his second season with the Rams has not gone as smoothly as his first. The 34-year-old has an 8:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio (after throwing five in the first two games, and one in three consecutive contests between Weeks 4 and 6) while averaging 46 fewer passing yards per game than 2021.

Overall, the Rams rank 17th in the league in that regard, as they have struggled mightily on offense. The run game has fared even worse, of course, but a healthy Stafford could especially be needed moving forward given the fact the the team’s most consistent contributor is now out of the picture.

Cooper Kupp‘s high ankle sprain required surgery and has landed him on IR, leaving him sidelined for at least four games. With the Rams sitting at 3-6, that has led to questions about whether the the reigning Offensive Player of the Year will see the field again in 2022. An offensive resurgence will be needed to bring the team back into playoff contention.

Stafford – who like Kupp and Aaron Donald signed a big-ticket extension this offseason – entered the campaign with concerns over his throwing elbow, though the more significant concern has become the offensive line in front of him. On that note, ESPN’s Sarah Barshop reports that neither guard David Andrews nor center Brian Allen will be available against the Saints (Twitter links). That will induce even more alterations to the injury-ravaged unit, while the Rams look to end their three-game skid with the No. 1 QB back in the fold.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/29/22

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed: DL Tomasi Laulile

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Signed as a UDFA shortly after the draft, Mevis fared rather poorly in a Thursday workout. The rookie kicker missed badly on three warmup kicks, one of which drilling ex-Cowboys HC Dave Campo (of Hard Knocks 2002 fame), per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco. Mevis had struggled during the start of Jaguars camp. This is Fry’s seventh NFL team since he entered the league in 2019. The workout-circuit regular has played in three regular-season games — one-offs with the Falcons, Bengals and Chiefs. The Jags also have kicker Ryan Santoso on their roster.

A hamstring injury, sustained during a workout shortly after a flight to Green Bay, sidelined Watkins for the start of Packers camp. The veteran will try to shake a well-earned injury-prone label in Green Bay, though the former top-five pick’s roster spot may not be 100% secure. Andrews, who returned in 2020 after missing all of the 2019 season due to blood clots, underwent offseason shoulder surgery. He is back for a seventh season as the Patriots’ starting center.

Patriots Place Five Players On PUP

The Patriots placed a long list of players on the physically unable to perform list today. Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Twitter, New England placed center David Andrews, cornerback Jonathan Jones, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, safety Jabrill Peppers, and running back James White on PUP. The players are able to return to practice at any time, but they’ll be watching from the sideline until they’re officially activated.

Jones is still rehabbing a shoulder injury that limited him to only six games in 2021, while Andrews is recovering from his own shoulder surgery. White was limited to only three games last season thanks to a hip issue, and it sounds like the injury is lingering into this year’s training camp. Peppers and McMillan are both returning from ACL injuries.

White is one of the most veteran players on the Patriots roster, and in an ideal world, the running back would serve as a pass-catching safety blanket for Mac Jones. Between the 2016 and 2019 campaign, White averaged 68.8 catches and 950 yards from scrimmage per season. Now 30, this injury could spell the beginning of the end for White, and with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson requiring carries (plus rookie fourth-round pick Pierre Strong Jr.), it’s hard to really see a role for White even if he’s healthy.

Andrews is also one of the longest-tenured Patriots players, having appeared in 89 games across seven seasons with the organization (including a 2019 campaign that he missed due to a pulmonary embolism). Despite the 2021 season being Andrews’ age-30 season, he still proved he was one of the best centers in the NFL, with Pro Football Focus ranking him fifth among 39 eligible centers.

McMillan joined the Patriots last offseason, but he tore his ACL in August and missed the entire season. Peppers, a former first-round pick, spent the past three seasons with the Giants. He collected 29 tackles and one sack in six games before suffering a torn ACL in October. Jones has spent his entire six-year career in New England, starting 27 games (including 21 starts between 2018 and 2020). He collected 20 tackles and three passes defended in six games last season.

AFC Notes: Bush, Granson, Andrews

Expectations were sky-high for Devin Bush when the Steelers traded up to select him in the first round of the 2019 draft. Things haven’t gone according to plan in the past two years in particular, leading to the team’s decision to decline his fifth-year option earlier this offseason.

That has led many to believe 2022 will be his final year in Pittsburgh. While the upcoming season could prove to be a critical turning point, he will still have a starting role in the middle of the team’s defense. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes that Bush will be a member of the first-team unit alongside free agent addition Myles Jack (subscription required).

The Michigan alum is no stranger to significant playing time, having started all but one of his games in the NFL. He will look to rebound from a disappointing 2021 campaign, where he made 41 solo tackles and allowed a passer rating of nearly 103 in coverage. Behind him and Jack at the position, the Steelers have veteran Robert Spillane and 2021 fourth-rounder Buddy Johnson available in the event of injuries or poor play.

Here are a couple of other notes from the AFC:

  • Facing a serious cap crunch, the Patriots re-worked the contract of center David Andrews last month. The move created some breathing room for the 2022 season, dropping his cap number from $6.375MM down to $4.275MM. In a breakdown of the other changes brought on by the restructure, ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes (on Twitter) that his cap figure in 2023 and 2024 will jump from $5.875MM to $7.175MM and $7.425MM, respectively. The 30-year-old is coming off of another solid season in 2021, earning a PFF grade of 78, and figures to reman an anchor on New England’s o-line for the foreseeable future.
  • The Colts will have a new player atop the tight end depth chart this season. The retirement of Jack Doyle has left Mo Alie-Cox as the No. 1 at the position in Indianapolis. While the 28-year-old is likely to eclipse his single-season career high of 394 yards with the increased workload, another incumbent could see an uptick on usage. 2021 fourth-rounder Kylen Granson “should be given every opportunity” to become a full-time contributor in the team’s offense, writes FOX59’s Mike Chappell. He made just 11 catches as a rookie, and will be competing with Alie-Cox and rookies Jelani Woods and Drew Ogletree for targets. Still, he could take on a notable receiving role in particular within Frank Reich‘s TE-friendly scheme with a strong training camp.

Pats Restructure David Andrews’ Contract

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.

Dolphins Still Searching For Center

The Dolphins made an offer to center David Andrews even after signing Matt Skura, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Andrews ultimately wound up back with the Patriots, but Jackson hears the Dolphins are still in the search for center support. 

[RELATED: David Andrews Chooses Pats Over ‘Fins]

Andrews missed all of 2019 with a pulmonary embolism, but he managed to return for the 2020 season. Even though he missed a handful of games with a thumb injury, he suited up in 72% of the Pats’ offensive snaps across 12 games.

Presumably, the Dolphins were willing to give Andrews a deal that was in the neighborhood of his new Pats contract – $19MM over four years with $6.5MM fully guaranteed. Meanwhile, Skura was signed for just $1.75MM on a one-year deal. Between Skura’s struggles and his injury history, it’s a safe bet that he won’t be handed the starting job in South Beach.

Contract Details: Trubisky, Andrews, Carson, Jones, Reiff, Joyner

Let’s catch up on the latest contract details from around the league:

  • QB Mitchell TrubiskyBills: One-year, $2MM base salary with $1.5MM guaranteed, $500K signing bonus, and $2MM available in incentives. Via Field Yates of ESPN on Twitter.
  • C David Andrews, Patriots: Four-years, $19 MM, with $6.5MM fully guaranteed. More money available in play-time incentives. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • RB Chris CarsonSeahawks: Two-years, $10.425MM, $4.5MM signing bonus and $1MM guaranteed salary for 2021. $4.5MM non-guaranteed 2022 salary and $450K in per-game roster bonuses in ‘22. Up to $1.4MM in incentives in both years. Via Dan Graziano of ESPN on Twitter.
  • RB Aaron JonesPackers: Four-years, $48MM. The $13MM signing bonus is the only fully guaranteed money in the contract. A $3.5MM roster bonus is due on the first day of next league year. For 2023, a $7MM roster bonus is due on the third day of the league year. You can read the full breakdown of each year of the contract via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
  • OL Riley ReiffBengals: One-year, $7.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. We hadn’t known the terms of this contract yet, and $7.5MM is a pretty decent price for the Bengals for a solid starting tackle. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • S Lamarcus JoynerJets: One-year, up to $4.5MM. $2.5MM is guaranteed, with a $1MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. Up to $500K in per game active roster bonuses and $1.5MM in playing time and interception incentives. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.

Patriots, C David Andrews Finalizing Deal

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.