Weather-related delays prevented some New England Patriots players from arriving in time for mandatory minicamp, according to head coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick spoke in vague terms about these travel complications ahead of the team’s first minicamp practice.
“We had a little weather here,” Belichick said Monday morning in a video conference. “We’re working through some travel arrangements, so we’ll see what the full level of participation here is (Monday) and for this week. But that’s really — I’m sure we’ll have a pretty full roster. It’s good to see a couple new faces here.”
The coach would not reveal whether this applied to cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who reportedly will not attend Monday’s minicamp session as he seeks a new contract. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is set to earn just $7 million in base salary this season after the Patriots moved money around to give him a preseason raise last September.
“Like I said, we were kind of scrambling to get things going this morning, so I didn’t really get a chance to see everybody myself,” Belichick said. “So we’ll see where we’re at.”
Belichick declined to elaborate on how weather impacted players’ travel plans and whether their absences would be excused. He has been known to punish players for weather- or travel-related tardiness.
“Yeah, well, just the travel arrangements over the weekend,” Belichick replied. “Not sure exactly, you know, how all of it worked out. We were close on a couple guys this morning, but we’ll catch up on that after we get done here and see where we’re at.”
He added: “I’m saying today’s the first day, they just got here a little while ago. I’m not sure if everybody is here. We didn?t take attendance at the meeting. But we’ll find out who’s here and who isn’t soon enough. That includes the players that were here last week and the players that weren?t here last week and everything else.”
The Patriots are scheduled to hold minicamp practices Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before breaking for the summer. Players can be fined for missing or choosing to skip minicamp.