The New England Patriots' 2018 offseason does not lack drama: From continuing speculation about Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl benching, to coaching staff changes, to free agency departures, to retirement rumors surrounding both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, there has been a seemingly never-ending supply of dramatic storylines to digest in Foxboro since the 2017 season came to an end.
The latest development is Brady and Gronkowski, the team's two biggest stars, skipping New England's voluntary offseason workouts. While noteworthy, this is not as big of a deal as it may seem in the grand scheme of things. After all, both are expected to return once the Patriots' mandatory minicamp opens – something team owner Robert Kraft confirmed at the owners meetings in Atlanta earlier today.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was among the reporters talking to Kraft and he published the most noteworthy bits of the session in a series of tweets:
#Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that he’s been in communication with Tom Brady. “These are voluntary workouts... I think he’s in great shape. I think he’s at an age where he’s blessed to have 3 children, has responsibilities. It’s hard to fulfill those during the season.”
#Patriots owner Robert Kraft says Tom Brady is excited about being at minicamp... a confirmation that he’ll be there. On the relationship between Belichick, “nothing’s changed. Everything is good.”
#Patriots owner Robert Kraft says Rob Gronkowski will be there for minicamp, as well. Sounds confident in the outcome.
Kraft pretty much echoed what Brady has been saying earlier this offseason: That he would spend most of his offseason focusing on his family, all while still preparing for the football season. “I think I’m really trying to fill my tank up,” Brady said in late April. “[W]hen I do go back, I can go back and I think I’ll actually be, in my mind, a better player, a better teammate, because I’ll be really rejuvenated.”
The Patriots will open their minicamp on June 5 – and it sure sounds like Brady and Gronkowski will both be there; as was expected all along.