Drama just seems to be the Patriots Way, right?
Whether it’s OTAs, PTAs, STAs, MBAs, there’s just never a dull moment with these New England Patriots.
Certainly it was an eventful three day manadatory mini camp at Gillette. It started with Rob Gronkowski’s brutal honesty about contemplating retirement and wanting a new contract (“Who wouldn’t?”), and ended with with the news that receiver Julian Edelman, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, was suspended by the NFL for the first four for violating the league’s performance enhancing substances rules. He is, according to ESPN, appealing, and was reportedly seen talking extensively with owner Robert Kraft on the practice field on Thursday.
Oh, and in between, Tom Brady, to our surprise, actually spoke to the media on Thursday, albeit rather quickly. Brady really gave no clue about why he skipped the voluntary workouts the previous month.
“Just some personal reasons for me,” he said. “But I’m here now and focused on what I need to do as I always say I am.”
But, he did deny his absence had anything to do with the reported disagreements with coach Bill Belichick. That was probably the biggest statement. True? Who knows?
“Not at all, no, no,” Brady said. “It’s great and we’ve always had a great relationship. I’ve been here for a long time and I love this team, I love this organization and I love playing quarterback for him. I loved it last year. I’m having a lot of fun now so that’s obviously what’s most important to me.”
Brady wouldn’t commit to the rest of OTAs (there’s still some voluntary time left), and anyone who heard the audio could tell he was careful with his answers.
Thirty minutes after Brady spoke, the news about Edelman came out.
“It was tough to watch it all on the sideline last year,” Edelman said on Tuesday, “and to come out here and just to do the little things, strap on the helmet, puts in perspective how lucky you are to get to play the game.”
Lucky enough, it seems, to try to get back quicker? We have to be honest, there are so many substances in supplments, etc., and corresponding rules that it’s probably risky to even take a vitamin C these days for players.
Edelman’s comments Tuesday were almost prophetically cryptic. But usually it’s a player coming back from injury that gets nabbed. The Patriots went to the Super Bowl without Edelman last year; they’ll survive four games without him to start the season anyway.
“Yeah, I mean everyone’s a competitor, so sometimes you’re own worst enemy when you’re trying to (rush and get back too soon).,” Edelman said. “But it is what it is and there’s a big part of the process and I’ve got a lot of guys, training staff helping me out – TB12, all that stuff – to get to where I want to be.”
Now you have to wonder about TB12, wouldn’t you? Is there something that Edelman was advised there to take? Did somebody slip up? This might really cause a full-fledged explosion at Gillette if that’s the case, because of the players who go there and all the Alex Guerrero drama already.
Like we said, never a dull moment. The National Football League produces its share of drama, anyway, because of the fact that games are just once a week and that gives the opportunity for all sorts of news, etc. to come out in between.
And in the off-season, even more time. Other teams have had plenty of off-season news, but the Patriots take the cake in this one.
We’re in June. There are no games until September. By that time, the Red Sox and Yankees will still be battling it out for supremacy in the AL East, the Bruins will be ready to open training camp, we’ll know where LeBron James is playing (it won’t be Boston) and the high school 2018 fall seasons will be underway.
And the games will be the thing, not so much the drama.
Until then? Keep your eyes and ears open.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK.email@example.com