Whether guard Brian Waters will ever suit up again for the Patriots became even murkier on Wednesday when he did not report to training camp, according to two league sources.
What that means isn't exactly clear, and not even Waters himself would clear it up.
Reached by phone this afternoon, Waters would not confirm or deny that he failed to report to the team.
"I’m not really talking about it, you’ll have to talk to the Patriots about it," Waters said. "At this moment, I’m not really discussing the situation. Right now I’m just handling things between me and the team. If they want to talk to you, that’s fine but I’m not really talking about it.
"You’re just going to have to talk to the team. I’m allowing them to handle all the media stuff right now. We’re going to do it this way, because it’s the best way to do it."
Andrew Kessler, Waters' agent, also refused to comment on the situation and referred all questions to the Patriots.
Waters, who stayed away from all off-season activities, could just have a personal issue, and has been granted time to deal with it.
That Waters didn't say he is retiring could signal that the veteran just didn't want to go through all of training camp, something that many veterans wrestle with. Some, like Brett Favre and Michael Strahan, went out of their way not to go through entire training camps later in their careers.
Waters didn't sign with the Patriots until the eve of the 2011 season (Sept. 4) and delivered a Pro Bowl performance.
The Patriots may have granted Waters, who has one more year left on his contract at $1.4 million, permission to report late to camp. And they may have instructed him not to disclose that.
The team is due on the practice field on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Waters, 35, raised eyebrows after the Super Bowl loss when he talked about needing time to decide whether he wants to continue playing.
However, league and team sources insisted that was just a heat-of-the-moment comment and that he was expected back.
Still, veterans can change their mind and decide they don't want to keep playing.