Drake Maye is the Patriots quarterback of the future. Maye started his journey Friday when Patriots rookie minicamp kick off and soon he will start to try to gain the trust of New England’s veterans. Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The future is finally here.

Drake Maye walked into the New England Patriots’ facility Thursday, on the eve of the team’s two-day rookie minicamp, with the plan to practice Friday and Saturday with other members of 2024 draft class, as well as undrafted rookie signings and other roster invitees. Together, they will run through basic drills and conditioning work.

All introduction level, Day 1 stuff.

Then comes the hard part: meeting and impressing the rest of the team. The veterans, the captains, the players depending on Maye to blend in and become one of them, to elevate them, maybe extend their careers, even while knowing he’s just a 21-year-old kid who will inevitably stand out for dozens of different reasons, not the least of which is he hasn’t played a down in the league.

But Maye has a plan. A plan to build bridges in the locker room before they can – and must – connect on the field. He shared his plan two weeks ago on his first day as a Patriot.

“I think the biggest thing for me is getting outside of football, doing things outside of football, where it’s going to play golf, take them out to eat – I’m a big video gamer, so if any of the guys play, I’ll be on,” Maye said. “If I’m not playing football, I’m playing video games. So little things like that, sitting down with them at lunch, asking them questions, and not sitting with the quarterbacks all the time, or the coaches, and just getting to know them.


“Things that just come from the heart.”

That plan, or at least the intention behind it, has resonated already with veterans who met him during his pre-draft visit last month and/or more recently.

Start with center David Andrews, who FaceTimed with Maye the morning after he was drafted.

“I think he’s a very smart kid. … He’s got some good energy about him. Enjoyed getting to know him the little bit I have,” Andrews said Thursday. “I think it’ll be good now that (the rookies) are all here, and we’ll get the chance to hang out and be around each other.”

Patriots center David Andrews celebrates with Mac Jones during a game in 2022. Andrews said he has FaceTimed with new Patriots quarterback Drake Maye and said, “He’s got some good energy about thim.”. Paul Connors/Associated Press

Like Andrews, outside linebacker Josh Uche also saw Maye when he visited Foxborough in early April. He was more willing to discuss Maye’s traits as a quarterback, specifically ones that contrasted with the Patriots’ passers of the past.

“I’m not a GM. I’m not a head coach, but I feel like he has a lot of potential. Great arm. Very athletic,” Uche said last week. “I feel like he gives us an opportunity to win, but it’s going to be a competition.”


Running back Rhamondre Stevenson claimed to have watched some of Maye’s college tape, but stopped short of giving a full scouting report. He wants to wait and see.

“Big-statured guy – can throw the ball,” Stevenson said. “I’ll make all my other judgments when he gets here.”

Once Maye makes his first impression, it will be time to build on that foundation. Andrews had some advice Thursday.

“One, it starts with your work ethic. Coming in, working hard, trying to do all the right things,” Andrews said. “There’s all the cliché things, and they are clichés, but they’re clichés for a reason – a lot of it works.”

Andrews, of course, watched a rookie quarterback work his way into the starting lineup and earn the trust of the locker room three years ago. That was Mac Jones, whose career went into a tailspin thereafter, the sad result of his poor play, coaching changes, and ineffective personnel around him. Andrews, as a captain, will be looking to apply lessons learned from the Mac Jones Experience to avoid a similar ending for Maye.

What lessons might those be?


“I think just staying with the process throughout the whole thing. I think just trying to be a sounding board as much as I can for him, helping him,” Andrews said. “I think it’s a long year for a lot of the rookies, and as a veteran, you’ve gotta be tough on them. You’ve gotta help them try to achieve. A lot of the veterans were hard on me.

“They pushed me a lot. That’s how you learn, getting pushed and challenged. I’m super excited to get to work with him.”

Maye and Andrews figure to form a closer bond than most players in the locker room, just like any quarterback and center. But there is one gap they must bridge in practice before Maye, who ran a shotgun offense in college, can invite anyone out to the golf course and make a dinner reservation.

Said Andrews: “We’ll see if he can take an under-center snap on Monday.”

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