The 24-year-old Andrews, primarily a special teams player, was being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Thursday following his second arrest this year.
The team had issued a statement Monday, saying, "The New England Patriots take the conduct of our players very seriously. We are aware of the very disturbing and alarming reports regarding Willie Andrews. We will not offer any additional comment, as is our policy regarding pending legal matters."
The other arrest on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and driving an unregistered motor vehicle occurred in February. Andrews admitted in court in May that there was enough evidence to convict him at trial but did not plead guilty.
On Monday, Andrews was charged with illegal possession of a large capacity firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to Gregg Miliote, director of communications for the Bristol County district attorney's office.
2007 Highlight: Willie Andrews returns a punt untouched for a 77-yard touchdown.
Andrews was arrested after allegedly returning home and having an argument with his girlfriend at about 1 a.m. Monday, Miliote said.
In two seasons since the Patriots drafted him in the seventh round out of Baylor, Andrews returned four kickoffs for 149 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown last season, and had 24 tackles, all but one on special teams.
Also, the Patriots signed linebacker Bo Ruud, a sixth-round draft pick from Nebraska. His brother Barrett plays for Tampa Bay.