NFL FREE AGENCY

Bedard: With David Andrews back in the fold, Belichick caps off precise free agency period

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(Getty Images)

It's not over and the Patriots could still do a few more things, and probably will (the quarterback situation is still a bit up in the air ... and complicated).

But if this — center David Andrews agreeing late Thursday night to return on a four-year deal — is the final big move for the Patriots in free agency, then take a bow, Bill Belichick.

Talk about executing a shopping list. I can't even remember everything at the grocery store, let alone throwing millions of dollars around of someone else's money, setting up my final Hall of Fame act, and trying to wash away the bitter aftertaste of a 7-9 season when the Patriots basically spent the final nine games playing out the string. Belichick knew it was over at 2-5 last year, which is why he picked that moment to trot out the excuses for what had happened.

The moment Belichick opened his mouth and started to say things — the same guy who earlier said, “We never make excuses. We don’t make excuses about anything. Period. That’s not what we do. We don’t make excuses.” — he put his butt on the line like never before.

In essence, Belichick was saying, "Look, Brady left, we had some key opt-outs, a new QB, Covid made restarting almost impossible ... yeah, we're not very good, but it's a one-year thing. It's a blip. You best believe that."

Belichick had to deliver this offseason. And, boy, did he.

Look, a lot of this was