Months after knee surgery and weeks after calling on NFL players to stand united against "overly competitive" offseason workouts, Tom Brady hosted some offsite drills with his pass-catching teammates on Monday.
Brady posted images from the drills on his Instagram page. It's his first documented football activity since February knee surgery that was expected to keep him sidelined until June. It appears that the Super Bowl champion quarterback is ahead of schedule on his recovery.
Brady described the workout as a "great day with the boys" alongside a photo of himself preparing to throw.
Big turnout for Brady drills
Brady was joined by several of his passing-game teammates. He also posted images of backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate, wide receivers Chris Godwin and Justin Watson, and running backs Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard, a free-agent arrival from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Drills take place amid NFL/NFLPA workout conflict
The drills did not take place Bucs at facilities. While Brady has an open invitation from head coach Bruce Arians to host unofficial workouts at team facilities, the Tampa Bay Times reports that Monday's drills took place at the nearby New York Yankees spring training complex.
Monday's drills arrived amid conflict between the NFL and the NFLPA over offseason workouts. Buccaneers players are among those from more than half of the NFL's teams boycotting team-organized offseason workout programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement from Bucs players cited last year's Super Bowl success amid a virtual offseason as evidence that intense offseason programs aren't necessary.
Brady reportedly took strong stand alongside NFLPA
Brady reportedly joined an NFLPA call in early May denouncing “overly competitive” offseason programs in support of the boycott.
“There’s no f***ing pro baseball player that’s throwing 95 mph in mid-December,” Brady reportedly said.
There's no indication that Monday's workouts represented a statement in the ongoing conflict. Brady hosted similar workouts at a Tampa private school last May prior to his first season with the Bucs.
But eyes will be on Bucs voluntary OTAs scheduled to start on Tuesday to see who does and doesn't show up. OTAs or not OTAs for Brady, the Bucs remain a betting favorite to represent the NFC in next season's Super Bowl.
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