Dozens of New England Patriots players returned to work Monday at Gillette Stadium. And while Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were not among them, another longtime offensive standout was.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman was present on Day 1 of the Patriots’ offseason program, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss.
As Reiss noted, Edelman’s contract includes a $500,000 workout bonus — the highest of any Patriots player. The 31-year-old must attend a certain percentage of the Patriots’ voluntary offseason workouts in order to earn that paycheck.
Edelman’s presence at Monday’s session was noteworthy for two reasons: 1) he missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and 2) he, like Brady and Gronkowski, is a client of Alex Guerrero, frequently working out with the trainer at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center.
Brady is expected to skip most or all of the Patriots’ voluntary workouts this offseason, in part to spend more time training with Guerrero, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. Gronkowski also currently is sitting out, and disagreements over training methods reportedly have been a source of friction between him and Patriots coach Bill Belichick in the past.
Barring an injury setback, Edelman should regain his status as New England’s No. 1 wideout this season. He and Chris Hogan headline a revamped receiving corps that also includes Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Malcolm Mitchell, Matthew Slater, Riley McCarron, Cody Hollister and newcomers Jordan Matthews and Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Patriots do not release official attendance reports for offseason workouts, and the sessions are closed to the media. But players spotted in photos and videos released by the team include Hogan, Britt, Mitchell, Matthews and Slater; running backs Rex Burkhead, James White and Mike Gillislee; tight ends Jacob Hollister and Will Tye; linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Marquis Flowers; guard Joe Thuney; center David Andrews; defensive ends Trey Flowers, Derek Rivers and Keionta Davis; safeties Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards and Nate Ebner; and quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Mitchell, Matthews, Hightower, Rivers, Davis and Ebner all are coming off season-ending injuries in 2017.