Everyone is focused on the quarterback position for the New England Patriots, and rightfully so. They need to find an effective replacement for Tom Brady after he left the team in free agency last year.
However, the Patriots also can't overlook the players who will block for their 2021 QB. The team has a couple of pending free-agent starters on the offensive line in left guard Joe Thuney and center David Andrews, and they would probably like to retain at least one of them.
Andrews might be the better bet to do that. Thuney, who played on the franchise tag last season, is one of the best guards in the NFL and may leave for a deal more lucrative than the Patriots are willing to pay.
And it seems like Andrews' preference would be to stay in New England. He confirmed as much in a recent Instagram AMA, as captured by the NBC Sports Boston Camera Guys.
Of course, there was a certain amount of diplomacy at the end of Andrews' statement, saying that he was "up for anything." But nonetheless, his appreciation for New England is noted.
Andrews, 28, has been with the Patriots for six seasons since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. He has played in 72 career games with 69 starts and helped the team earn two Super Bowl wins.
Having a consistent center who's willing to work with any quarterback is critical to offenses in the NFL. Just ask Tom Brady.
Brady played with Andrews for four seasons and missed him in 2019 when Andrews missed the whole season with a blood clotting issue. The Patriots line struggled without Andrews. And last season, Brady saw Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen adjust well to working in tandem with Brady last season.
Bill Belichick certainly knows the importance of the center position, so maybe he'll prioritize retaining Andrews to have a sure thing at one end of the quarterback/center battery.
Either way, if both sides want Andrews in New England enough, they will probably find a way to make that happen.