Brady participated in Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice, Paul Perillo of the Patriots' official site reports. The same applies to star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Now that he has joined the team, Brady can begin building on-field rapport with his pass catchers, a group that includes newcomers such as Jordan Matthews, as well as returnees Julian Edelman (knee) and Malcolm Mitchell (knee), who are both returning from injuries that kept them out of the mix in 2017.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft relayed that Brady told him that he plans to attend the team's mandatory minicamp, which opens up June 5, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. Brady has been skipping the team's voluntary workouts, but the QB has been working out of late at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center and there's little concern over his conditioning. Once Brady is back with the Patriots, he'll begin the process of building rapport with his pass catchers, a group that includes several newcomers, including Jordan Matthews, as well as players like Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell, who are bouncing back from injuries.
Brady will not be present for the opening of the Patriots' OTAs on Monday, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. While the team's current round of OTAs are voluntary, Brady's absence is notable since it marks a variation from his offseason routine in past years. The quarterback has previously noted that his decision is motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family, as well as prepare himself to be "really rejuvenated" for the 2018 season. Brady's work ethic and fitness level aren't an issue here, but he is missing some opportunities to build rapport with his teammates. In any case, the veteran signal-caller has committed to playing this coming season, with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggesting that Brady is expected to be present for the team's mandatory minicamp in June.
Brady said Monday that he still plans to play football this season, ESPN.com's Mike Reiss reports. "I have personal goals," said Brady. "I want to keep playing. I've said for a long time I want to play to my mid-40s. I was told three years, when I was 36-37, 'You can't keep playing; no one wins Super Bowls [at that age].' It's a great challenge for me. I think I've been challenged my whole life. I feel like I can do it." Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California, the 40-year-old quarterback acknowledged that he's taking a different approach this offseason, focusing on his family and his preparation for post-football life rather than spending time at the Patriots' voluntary offseason program. He apparently hasn't departed from his stated intention to play into his mid-40s, something that his agent, Don Yee, mentioned a couple weeks ago. Brady downplayed the notion of a fractured relationship with his head coach, noting that Bill Belichick isn't the easiest to play for but does a good job maximizing the talent around him. It sounds as if Brady will soon head to New England, where he'll be greeted by an offense that underwent major changes in the offseason. The team lost Dion Lewis, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola and both starting tackles (Nate Solder, Cameron Fleming) in free agency. They signed Jeremy Hill, Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson and tackle Matt Tobin, later adding OL Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel in the first round of the draft. It could end up as a wash -- or at least close to it -- if Julian Edelman (knee) regains his pre-injury form after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.
Brady's agent, Don Yee, said that he expects the QB to play this coming season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. "Tom's intentions have not changed," Yee relayed Monday. "He's consistently said he'll play beyond this contract and into his mid 40s, or until he feels he isn't playing at a championship level. I understand the constant speculation, but this is one point he's been firm about." Until Brady, who is signed through 2019, confirms that he's 100 percent committed to playing in 2018 -- or alternatively his below-market-value contract is adjusted -- his situation is worth monitoring, but we'd be shocked if the 40-year-old signal-caller walked away from the game at this stage. Meanwhile, star tight end Rob Gronkowski has also been coy about his playing status, but we fully expect the duo to be back at it for New England this coming season. Brian Hoyer is currently the only other QB on the Patriots' roster, but it's assumed that the team will address the position in this week's draft.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/15||Kansas City Chiefs||25||20.41|
|9||11/05||Green Bay Packers||31||22.06|
|12||11/25||@New York Jets||26||21.00|
|17||12/30||New York Jets||26||21.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||65.8||4300||32||6||48||1||367|