Tom Brady was absent from the New England Patriots' organised team activities (OTAs) this week, but owner Robert Kraft is confident the quarterback will be at a mandatory mini-camp.
Patriots star Brady skipped voluntary OTAs for the first time in eight years, following an off-season in which his future appeared to be in doubt.
But the 40-year-old has confirmed his intention to return with New England in 2018 and, at the NFL owners meeting in Atlanta, Kraft told reporters he has been in contact with Brady and expects him to be with the team in June.
"I've been in communication with Tom. I think he's very excited about the upcoming season," Kraft said, as reported by The Boston Globe. "These are voluntary workouts. I heard he's in great shape.
"I know he's very excited about being at mini-camp and having a very special season this year."
It’s good to be back. pic.twitter.com/JV2bIqKV2a— New England Patriots (@Patriots) May 22, 2018
Kraft also pointed to Brady's family and off-field commitments as reasons for missing the OTAs, but is sure the veteran is excited for the new season.
"I was thinking back to when he joined us, where he's blessed to have three children now and he's built a number of businesses and has certain responsibilities," Kraft said.
"I think it's very hard for him to fulfil those during the season and the commitment that he has to football."
Coach Bill Belichick was also pressed on Brady's absence during a Tuesday news conference, but he was less willing to comment.
"I'm not going to talk about the people who aren't here," Belichick told reporters. "The guys who are here are improving, working hard. That's who we're going to focus on."
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