There is a clearer reason now why Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on Wednesday canceled Thursday’s third practice of organized team activities.
It appears as though the Patriots didn’t have a choice.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss, who cited league sources, reported Wednesday night that the Patriots lost two days of OTAs as punishment for violating offseason rules. Reiss didn’t dive into details of what the violations were, but added New England will also lose a practice session next week as well. NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry noted that the optional practice canceled next week is on Tuesday. The Patriots’ first open practice to the media is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday.
This was the third and final phase of OTAs for the Patriots as they head into a critical season with a new additions on the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, after an underwhelming 8-9 campaign a year ago. Contact is not permitted in these practices.
The Patriots are far from the only NFL team to get docked by the league for offseason rules violations in recent years. According to Reiss, the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks have all been disciplined by the NFL for such infractions.