Tom Brady reportedly will not attend Monday's OTA session

Report: Brady absent as Patriots begin organized team activities

Still, it is clear by now that the most dominant National Football League franchise of a generation is in a period of greater uncertainty than ever before.

For the first time since their Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4, the New England Patriots will take the field as a team Monday as they begin organized team activities. On that note, let's take a look at the biggest storylines surrounding the Patriots entering Phase 3 of their offseason program. Still, them not joining the rest of the team for OTAs would be a significant story and a departure from the way both have operated in previous offseasons.

Although the activities are voluntary, Brady's absence is notable because he has attended them in the past. Brady has spoken in the past about how it is the time to build a foundation with teammates to take into the start of training camp.

So is Brady skipping this a big deal?

Maybe, but you have to leap through a few hoops to get there. I know you're sick of the drama, but it's odd that Tom Brady won't be at OTAs.

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I know you don't want to hear about it.

For the record, Brady has 8 Super Bowl appearances in his 18 seasons in the league - so, you really that anxious?

So what concerns could there be about Brady missing OTAs?

From a more pragmatic perspective, the Patriots have added a raft of new players, including receivers Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson and Braxton Berrios, and the more comfort Brady could get with them, the better.

But on a larger scale, Brady has always hit these OTAs in the past. And the reported rift between Brady and Patriots management/coaches could be the cause, or could be the result, of this decision. There had previously been rumors of friction between Brady and coach Bill Belichick over several issues, including the presence of the quarterback's trainer, friend, and business partner Alex Guerrero. Julian Edelman and Brady have a mind meld going, but Edelman is coming back from a torn ACL. Whether Etling (seventh round, LSU) can legitimately challenge Hoyer for the No. 2 job remains to be seen, but this is an early opportunity for him to make an impression with practice repetitions he might otherwise not have seen. Unless and until Brady wins another Super Bowl, stories like this will consume the Patriots faithful.

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