Expect a bigger and bulkier Tom Brady before the start of the 2019 NFL season. According to a Zack Cox of New England Sports Network, the veteran quarterback was a no-show when the New England Patriots started phase one of their offseason workout programs on Monday (April 15). Brady’s absence was not a surprise since Mike Giardi of NFL Media reported earlier that it was the quarterback’s plan to skip voluntary workouts again this offseason. This was the second straight offseason that Brady decided to forego a chance to work out with new wide receivers and tight ends.

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Giardi said Brady didn't believe it impacted his performance and the team’s offense last season.

This doesn’t mean that Brady is not preparing for their Super Bowl title defense. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Brady “may bulk up” and “should be a bit bigger” when he returns. In 2018, Brady decided to skip the Patriots’ offseason program because he wanted to give more time to his family. Also, Brady allotted time to his trainer Alex Guerrero, in preparation for the 2018 season. Brady’s absence hasn’t had any impact on the team’s performance, as they cruised to their sixth Super Bowl title with a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Michael Bennett also skipped offseason workout

Aside from Brady, veteran defensive end Michael Bennett was not spotted at Gillette Stadium, according to Field Yates of ESPN. According to Yates, Bennett’s absence is understandable since he lives in Hawaii during the offseason. During his time with the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles, the 33-year-old Bennett also skipped voluntary team workouts, saying he’s using the offseason to become a better parent and a better husband. “It’s voluntary,” Bennett said in an interview with NJ.com, adding it’s “the only job in the world that it’s voluntary and people expect you to show up.” The Patriots acquired Bennett via a trade with the Eagles.

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Patriots’ newcomers attend voluntary workout

Based on the photos released by the Patriots, some of the players they signed recently participated in the voluntary workout, including wide receiver Maurice Harris, defensive tackle Mike Pennel and returning running back Brandon Bolden. Based on their schedule, the Patriots are expected to hold organized team activities practices from May 20 to June 11. Mandatory mini-camp runs from June 4-6.

The Patriots cannot force their players to attend phase one of their offseason program, as it is voluntary, but some players attend because they have financial bonuses tied to their attendance.

Only at training camp and the team’s three-day minicamp (June 4-6 for the Patriots this year) is attendance required.