FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With plenty of media attention focused on two top players who weren't in attendance at the start of the New England Patriots' voluntary offseason program on Monday -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski -- not to be overlooked was the presence of a key player returning in 2018: wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Edelman was at Gillette Stadium on Monday, taking the first step toward collecting a $500,000 workout bonus, which is the largest of any player on the Patriots roster.
Here is how Edelman's workout bonus total compares to other Patriots:
Cordarrelle Patterson: $250,000
Lawrence Guy: $200,000
Stephen Gostkowski: $100,000
Patrick Chung: $85,000
But more than the money, Edelman's attendance provides a springboard to highlight how his recovery from a torn ACL sustained on Aug. 25, 2017, continues to progress. And with Brandin Cooks traded and Danny Amendola signing with the Dolphins in free agency, Edelman's return to health in 2018 takes on added importance because he's still Brady's go-to guy. The two, as is norm for them, have already thrown together this offseason.
Furthermore, Edelman's arrival at Gillette Stadium on Monday adds a layer of context to consider as players balance their work in the team's strength and conditioning program and with Brady's personal trainer, Alex Guerrero.
The soon-to-be-32-year-old Edelman is a regular at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center with Guerrero, and while Brady might curb back his attendance in the Patriots' offseason program this year (per ESPN's Jeff Darlington) -- in part to focus more on his work with Guerrero -- it doesn't look like Edelman will follow that same road map.
A reminder of what the Patriots lost without Edelman last season:
He is third in NFL history with 89 postseason receptions, behind Jerry Rice (151) and Reggie Wayne (93) and needs five postseason receptions to move past Wayne into second place all-time.
He is one of 14 NFL players with at least 1,000 postseason receiving yards and his 1,024 postseason receiving yards are ranked 13th in NFL history. He needs 39 postseason yards to move into the top 10.
He is tied with Deion Branch for first in Patriots history with four postseason 100-yard games.