NFLPA meeting includes Brian Waters

The Patriots’ missing man, guard Brian Waters, was in the media center on Thursday. Waters was on hand for the NFL Players’ Association’s annual Super Bowl press conference; he is a member of the union’s executive board.

After a Pro Bowl season at right guard in 2011, his first with New England, Waters never returned to the team despite being under contract for 2012.

He was excused from offseason work to be with his family in his native Texas. But once training camp began, Waters remained absent.

After a while, his locker was emptied, and then rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower was given jersey No. 54 – the number Waters had worn. In time, Waters’s nameplate was stripped off his former stall.

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When approached after the press conference, Waters declined an interview. When asked if he will play in 2013, Waters would not say. If we’re being honest, Waters did not look to be in playing shape.

Since he did not show up last year, Waters’s contract tolled and he will still be under contract with the Patriots for the 2013 season.