Unsigned through two days of the NFL’s free-agent negotiating period, center David Andrews is no guarantee to return to the New England Patriots.
Andrews “is going to free agency,” a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday night. Andrews, an offensive captain, is the Patriots’ top available free agent, and the center is New England’s current biggest need. Free agency officially begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Other teams have been able to contact Andrews since Monday at noon. The center has been “weighing offers from the Patriots all day,” according to Rapoport.
The Patriots have been throwing money around on the open market but have been unable to reach an agreement with Andrews. They’ve agreed to terms on deals with wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson, outside linebacker Matt Judon and defensive back Jalen Mills. New England also traded for offensive lineman Trent Brown, traded offensive tackle Marcus Cannon and re-signed quarterback Cam Newton, cornerback Justin Bethel and defensive linemen Deatrich Wise and Carl Davis.
Thus far, the Patriots have lost left guard Joe Thuney in free agency to the Kansas City Chiefs and safety Terrence Brooks to the Houston Texans.
The Patriots’ top center currently on their roster is veteran Marcus Martin. If Andrews doesn’t return to New England, Ted Karras and Rodney Hudson would be among their top free-agent options for a snapper. Karras, who spent the 2020 season with the Miami Dolphins, filled in for the Patriots at center while Andrews dealt with blood clots in his lungs.
The rest of the Patriots’ starting offensive line is in good shape with Brown, Isaiah Wynn, Shaq Mason and Michael Onwenu. Justin Herron, a 2020 sixth-round pick, is New England’s top reserve.