Here we go again.
For the second straight season, Tom Brady has elected to skip the Patriots voluntary offseason workout program, including OTAs, presumably to spend more time with his family during the offseason.
Although not as big of a topic as last year, it’s begun to get discussed more since the OTA sessions began Monday and the media will be present for Thursday’s. Last year showed Brady’s absence didn’t impact things all that much, which is why it should be a non-story again.
Brady is 41 years old and there are certain sacrifices that need to be made in order for him to keep playing with a family that has older kids like he does. Missing out on OTAs is one of them, and just look at the work that gets done on the field -- there are no pads, no hitting and it’s barely competitive.
The quarterback is working hard at his craft on his own and will certainly attend mandatory minicamp and training camp in great shape per usual. Could some extra time spent with new receivers like N’Keal Harry be beneficial come the regular season? Sure, but it’s not enough to have a major impact.
Even more of a reason to believe Brady not attending is a non-story? Just look at Bill Belichick’s comments from last year.
“The OTA system is voluntary,” he said. “It’s a voluntary program.”
What about when asked about Brady directly?
“I’m not going to talk about the people that aren't here,” Belichick said. “Guys that are here are improving, they're working hard and those are the guys we're going to focus on.”
The Patriots coach also seemed to confirm the sessions aren’t exactly very competitive.
“Yeah, they're non-contact practices,” he said. “There are a lot of restrictions that we have to abide by. That's what we're doing.”
While it certainly would be nice to have Brady at the sessions, it isn’t the end of the world that he’s not.