Tom Brady was not present at the start of the New England Patriots voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) on Monday after skipping the entire team's offseason program so far. This actually goes against what he said about OTAs during an interview in 2013.
With the success that Brady has had over his NFL career for the Patriots as their quarterback, you can excuse him every now and then for not turning up for a voluntary team session, especially when you consider how much time he has devoted to the game already.
However, after skipping the entire Patriots' offseason program so far, you have to wonder how much commitment he still has left for the game. Brady had attended last season’s OTAs, so his absence from this year's OTAs could be down to growing tension between him and the team's front office.
While the team isn't panicking about it yet, OTAs is an important time for teams as it allows them to come together for the first time to run through football-specific drills. The Patriots quarterback has even spoken in the past about how important this time of the NFL calendar is.
Brady spoke about the importance of OTAs during an interview back in 2013, which goes against the fact he's missed all of the Patriots' OTAs so far this offseason. He said the following via Patriots.com.
“He (Bill Belichick) talks about, you think it’s just an OTA in the spring time and it’s not that important and all those things that probably could enter your mind. The truth is, this lays the foundation for the start of training camp and if you have a good training camp, it usually means a good start to the season. A good start to the season leads to good position entering the second half of the season.
"Everything ends up having some significance to it. You’re not just out here running plays and going through different things that aren’t going to mean anything. We’re out here trying to get a lot of things accomplished. I think we have done that, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
"It’s really never ending, especially when you play for Coach Belichick. Especially in practices when the offense goes against the defense, because if the offense makes a play then the defense sucked and if the defense makes a play then the offense sucked so someone is really going to get yelled at on every play.
"There’s always lowlights when we come in on the next day. Even if it was a great offensive play, he’s going to yell at someone on the defense. We’ve become a bit used to that now and that’s part of the learning process and also learning how to play for the Patriots and understand the criticism that you’re getting and hopefully use it constructively so you can improve as a player.”
While the team has downplayed any tension between themselves and their quarterback, Brady's lack of attendance at OTAs, especially after speaking about how important OTAs are in the past, could be seen as a sign that he's not as invested in the NFL as he used to be.