The first of the Patriots’ financial dominoes had fallen.
The team has reportedly restructured the contract of center David Andrews to create cap space, via ESPN’s Field Yates.
According to Yates’ report, New England will convert $3.15 million of Andrews’ money into a signing bonus, which will create $2.1 million in salary cap space by lowering Andrews’ cap hit for this year from $6.375 million down to $4.275 million. The veteran center, who signed a four-year free-agent deal to return to Foxborough last spring, didn’t get any additional money and still has four years left on his contract.
The move gives the Patriots some much-needed breathing room in the short term after pushing near the hard salary cap for most of the spring. New England just announced the signings of its final three unsigned draft picks — Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, and Bailey Zappe — meaning a corresponding money-clearing move had to come soon.
Patriots cap expert Miguel Benzan calculates the team now has $359,634 in available space after the Andrews restructure and the draft pick signings.
While New England now doesn’t have to clear more space in the immediate, more restructures or bigger moves will be needed in the coming months to give the Patriots flexibility to operate for the season and sign new players as needed.