Waters doesn’t report
Barely a day in, and there is already a surprise out of Patriots training camp: guard Brian Waters did not report.
Veterans were due at Gillette Stadium Wednesday morning, and Waters, the team’s best free agent signing last year, was not among those who showed up.
The Texas native, whose family did not move with him to Massachusetts last year, did not take part in offseason activities — including mandatory minicamp, from which coach Bill Belichick said he was excused. But Waters was expected to be back for training camp.
And there was no clarity provided, even from Waters.
“I’m not really talking about it, you’ll have to ask the Patriots about it,” he said when reached via telephone. “At this moment, I’m not really discussing the situation. Right now, I’m just handling things between me and the team. If they want to talk to you that’s fine, but I’m not really talking about it.
“You’re just going to have to talk to the team. I’m allowing them to handle all the media stuff right now. We’re going to do it this way, because it’s the best way to do it.”
Andrew Kessler, Waters’s agent, also refused to comment and referred all questions to the Patriots.
Waters could just have a personal issue, and has been granted time to deal with it.
Signed to a two-year deal on Sept. 4, 2011, Waters was chosen for his sixth Pro Bowl last season. Despite his on-field success, Waters, now 35, raised eyebrows immediately after the Patriots’ loss in Super Bowl XLVI when he said he needed time to decide whether to continue playing.
However, league and team sources insisted Wednesday that Waters will be back with the Patriots this season.
The Patriots may have granted Waters, who is scheduled to be paid $1.4 million this season, permission to report late to camp. And they may have instructed him not to disclose that.
With a dozen NFL seasons under his belt, Waters may just be holding off camp for as long as possible. Now-retired players such as Brett Favre and Michael Strahan went out of their way to not go through all of training camp in the final seasons of their careers.
Players will be on the field Thursday for the first official workout of camp.