FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ quarterback depth chart looked a whole lot better on Tuesday during the first day of minicamp.
Of course, Tom Brady has that affect on the offense.
After skipping out on the first five OTA practices of the spring, which were optional, Brady returned to the practice field on Tuesday for mandatory practice. The quarterback, who also skipped OTAs last year, didn’t miss a beat in his first practice of the 2019 offseason.
Overall, Brady finished 17-for-23 in competitive team drills. He went 12-for-15 in 11-on-11s and 5-for-8 in 7-on-7s. Brady started the day going 4-for-4 in 4-on-4 drills. So no, there won’t be any quarterback controversy this offseason — at least with the Patriots’ starter.
On Tuesday, it was noteworthy that rookie Jarrett Stidham was taking reps behind Brady and Brian Hoyer. This left Danny Etling as the odd man out. Stidham had a solid day, going 9-for-13 in competitive drills. He went 5-for-9 in 11-on-11s and 4-for-4 in 7-on-7s. Hoyer went 8-for-13 with an interception.
Brady, Hoyer and Stidham all participated in 4-on-4s, 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s. The three quarterbacks rotated in and out of the lineup. Etling, meanwhile, threw just one 11-on-11 session in the beginning of practice, finishing 8-for-9.
It also seemed noteworthy that Brady had one side session involving just N’Keal Harry, Ben Watson and James White. Harry is receiving reps with Brady in full-team drills, but had a tougher day on Tuesday as he lined up against Pro Bowler Stephon Gilmore.
Braxton Berrios and Maurice Harris were two standouts on Tuesday. Berrios had the catch of the day on a Hoyer deep ball. The second-year receiver made a full extension dive in the end zone. He popped up from the ground and finished the play off with a spike. He had another touchdown grab from Hoyer later in practice.
Ja’Whaun Bentley made the defensive play of the game with an interception on Hoyer. That came after Kyle Van Noy tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage. J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen also had pass deflections in practice.
Harris made a highlight real reception over Duron Harmon. The deep ball, from Brady, was one of multiple nice catches the new receiver made on Tuesday.
On the offensive line, Joe Thuney continues to line up at left tackle.
Absent from minicamp on Tuesday was Patrick Chung, Sony Michel, Yodny Cajuste, Nick Brossette, Demaryius Thomas and Deatrich Wise. Kyle Van Noy and Isaiah Wynn were limited.
Seferian-Jenkins being released
The Patriots are releasing tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, ESPN’s Field Yates reported Tuesday.
Seferian-Jenkins signed a one-year deal in April and was expected to compete for a role after the offseason retirement of star Rob Gronkowski.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Seferian-Jenkins is dealing with personal issues that will take him at least a month to resolve.
Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t at the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, not so surprising after coach Bill Belichick said all the players required to show were in attendance.
It is possible that New England will consider bringing him back in July prior to training camp.
Seferian-Jenkins, 26, has caught 116 passes for 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns in 43 games over five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-16), New York Jets (2016-17) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2018). He was the Bucs’ second-round pick in 2014.
Field Level Media