Quarterback Tom Brady arrived for the first day of Patriots’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, jogging onto the field with a big smile.
It is the first time Brady has taken part in the club’s offseason program this year — it is mandatory, after all — as he decided not to attend previous voluntary workouts. Coach Bill Belichick said before Tuesday’s session that all players had reported. When asked if it was good to have his starting quarterback back in the mix, Belichick said it was good to have all players in attendance.
“It’s good to have all the players here,” Belichick said. “It’s always good to work with all the players.”
Belichick also was asked if he thought he was “in a good place right now’’ with Brady.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Tom,’’ Belichick said.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who also opted out of this offseason’s voluntary workouts, was among the last players to take the field Tuesday.
Last month at the NFL owners meetings, Robert Kraft said he had been in communication with Brady and that the three-time MVP was “very excited about minicamp.’’ In April, Kraft said Gronkowski’s absence from voluntary workouts was “not even an issue for me.’’
Belichick would not comment on whether the absences of Brady and Gronkowski slowed New England’s process down.
“The OTA system is voluntary,” he said. “It’s a voluntary program.”
“We have players that are in various stages of participation,” he continued. “Everybody does what they can, the best they can, to get ready to go — whatever they can do. We have guys that are in a lot of different situations.”