Yet Thomas told the Herald he didn?t know the workouts began, and NESN.com was the first to report Thomas was absent from Monday?s opening session. The Patriots, in turn, should consider Thomas' comment to be a shot toward the organization.
According to a source, every player received an itinerary detailing their offseason plan, and it was as meticulous as the players' running and weightlifting sessions during each day of their voluntary workouts, which are broken into three phases that progress in difficulty leading up to minicamp. Players must show up for four workouts in a given week to receive compensation.
Thomas and head coach Bill Belichick were at odds last season, and Thomas told 98.5 The Sports Hub in February the spat stemmed from a meeting following the Patriots' 2009 season-opening victory against the Bills. When asked about the bad blood between Thomas and Belichick, a source told NESN.com, "Yeah, everybody saw that. That was no secret." Because of this, it's been widely speculated Thomas will be released or traded during this offseason.
But Thomas is still on the roster, which means he would have received the offseason workout itinerary from the team. Sports Illustrated reported in 2007 that Thomas would receive an annual offseason workout bonus of $107,000, which is contingent upon his attendance for these voluntary sessions.
Therefore, if the Patriots failed to notify Thomas of these workouts, they could face a lawsuit and severe punishment from the league. So, it would be extremely irresponsible, and thus, completely illogical to believe they failed to notify Thomas of the start of their offseason workouts.
Again, they're voluntary, so Thomas is not forced to attend by any means. But don't believe for a second he didn't know they were going on.