Sport

Patriots have more than 50 players showing up for voluntary offseason work

Players on the Patriots released a statement last month saying “many of us” would follow the NFLPA’s guidance to skip voluntary offseason work at the team facility. But most Patriots are participating.

More than 50 players have been present, a source told Mike Reiss of ESPN. That’s a clear majority of the players under contract.

We don’t know all the names of the players who have been there, or whether any key players are staying home in solidarity with the NFLPA. But among the key players who have been participating are starting quarterback Cam Newton, special teams captain Matthew Slater, tackle Trent Brown, tight end Jonnu Smith, receiver Jakobi Meyers, defensive back Jalen Mills and receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Realistically, on a team like the Patriots, where last season left a bitter taste in the players’ mouths, it wasn’t going to be easy for the NFLPA to get many players to go along with the decision to skip voluntary offseason work. Most of the players in the Patriots’ locker room want to get better this year, and they think that starts with hard work in the offseason, even if the rules say they don’t have to be there.