For Patriots players, the 2019 season has officially begun.
The team opened its voluntary offseason program Monday afternoon, as players reported to Gillette Stadium for strength and conditioning workouts.
Quarterback Tom Brady is not expected to be in attendance for the foreseeable future, however.
According to a source, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Brady go the same route he took in the 2018 offseason, when he skipped the voluntary portion of the program and participated only in a mandatory three-day minicamp.
Given the way Brady’s 2018 season played out, there isn’t much reason for him to reconsider his approach. He’s already a few weeks into his individual preparation for the new season, which will be his 20th with the Patriots.
Players are limited to strength and conditioning and rehab for the first two weeks of the voluntary offseason program.
By the third week, individual on-field drills are permitted. The Patriots will hold their first Organized Team Activity (OTA) on May 20. That’s when teams can engage in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
With the NFL Draft around the corner, the Patriots are still in the process of filling out Brady’s receiving corps. Julian Edelman returns as the No. 1 target. Beyond him, there’s uncertainty in the group. Phillip Dorsett, who re-signed on a one-year deal, is currently the team’s No. 2 option. Josh Gordon has been training in Florida, but he remains indefinitely suspended by the NFL. Gordon was given an offer by the Patriots in restricted free agency.
The Pats signed free-agent receivers Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, but neither is guaranteed to make the team.
In the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, New England brought in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on a one-year deal.
Jones in the fold
Cornerback Jonathan Jones, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year contract, according a source.
Jones will make $3.1 million this season. He’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2020.
Entering his fourth NFL season, Jones is an important part of a the secondary. He often handles slot coverage duties and, because of his track-star speed, draws some of the league’s fastest receivers. He covered Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill for the majority of the AFC Championship game. Hill had one catch for 42 yards, and it came against rookie Keion Crossen.
With Jones back in the mix, the Patriots are loaded at cornerback. Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jason McCourty, Jones, Duke Dawson, and Crossen comprise a deep group with a mix of veteran stability and youth.