NFL OTAs roll call: Brady, Gronk among stars skipping workouts

Organized team activities have begun across the NFL and will continue for the next few weeks.

While OTAs are not mandatory, some notable players are attending while others are sitting out this spring. All players are expected to show up for mandatory minicamp, which is being held by some teams June 5-7 and others June 12-14.

Here's a rundown of key players missing and key players attending OTAs:

Atlanta Falcons

Not on hand: WR Julio Jones

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: Word circulated to ESPN more than a month ago that Jones wanted a pay raise based on receivers such as Antonio Brown and Mike Evans surpassing him in average per year. But Jones is not a malcontent, so he's not likely to publicly lobby for a new deal or be a distraction to the team. Yes, Jones is worth more than $14.25 million per year with three years left on the deal. And as one NFC executive said over the weekend, “If Matt Ryan is getting $30 million per year, Julio Jones damn sure should be getting at least $20 million per year because he's their best player.” This will become a bigger issue if Jones skips mandatory minicamp in June and then the start of training camp. Based on how much the Falcons value Jones, the guess is they'll find a creative way to meet his desires. Jones has to collect now because unlike Ryan, he won't be getting that huge deal at age 33. -- Vaughn McClure

Dallas Cowboys

Not on hand: G Zack Martin

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: It's a little surprising Martin is sitting out since he has been at The Star since the start of captains' workouts in March, but there shouldn't be any concern about this affecting his play in 2018. Martin will be ready and he is wise to not expose himself to the possibility of injury with a big payday looming. The Cowboys and his agents have been in talks about a deal and something could come down before training camp. The Cowboys want Martin, and he doesn't want to think about leaving. Missing some OTAs won't set him or the team back when the regular season starts in September. -- Todd Archer

Denver Broncos

On hand: LB Von Miller

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: Miller, who has the team's biggest contract -- $114.5 million, signed in 2016 – and often the busiest offseason is certainly representative of the Broncos' get-to-work theme. Miller has been a regular inside the Broncos' complex since the team opened its offseason program in April and the Broncos had 100 percent attendance overall when they opened their OTAs Tuesday. -- Jeff Legwold

Houston Texans

On hand: QB Deshaun Watson

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: Ever since early in the rehab process from a torn ACL, Deshaun Watson has said he hoped to be back on the field during OTAs, at least for some individual and seven-on-seven drills, with the expectation he would be ready for training camp. While Watson has been throwing this offseason, the beginning of the third phase of OTAs began this week and he was on the field with the team and throwing to his receivers for the first time since he tore his ACL. The fact he has been able to stick to the rehab timeline is a good sign for the Texans. -- Sarah Barshop

Jacksonville Jaguars

Not on hand: CB Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: The defense certainly looked different without those two starters during the 11-on-11 drills during Tuesday's OTA but it's giving free agent signee D.J. Hayden valuable outside reps (he was signed to replace nickel back Aaron Colvin). That's a positive because Hayden would be a fill-in starter for Ramsey or Bouye in case of injury. Ramsey and Bouye had been in touch with coach Doug Marrone about their absence -- unlike offensive lineman Brandon Albert last year -- so this wasn't a surprise. Both players are expected to be here for mandatory minicamp in June.-- Mike DiRocco

Los Angeles Chargers

Not on hand: DE Melvin Ingram

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Although Chargers coach Anthony Lynn would like Ingram to be there, his absence should not have a significant impact on this offseason. Ingram's absence actually frees up reps for less experienced players like Isaac Rochell and Chris Landrum, helping defensive coordinator Gus Bradley better evaluate those players. -- Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Rams

Not on hand: DT Aaron Donald

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: Donald was named the Defensive Player of the Year last season despite not participating in the offseason program and training camp because of contract negotiations. A year later, Donald enters the fifth season of his rookie deal with a new contract still not in place. His absence will affect the development of a defensive line that now includes Ndamukong Suh. -- Lindsey Thiry

Minnesota Vikings

Not on hand: LB Anthony Barr

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Barr has been working out in the Twin Cities and was present at Mike Zimmer's youth football camp over the weekend, but told his coach Tuesday that he wasn't going to be at OTAs. Barr is set to play the 2018 season on his fifth-year option at $12.3 million salary but could be holding out in hopes of striking a new deal. When asked whether Barr's contract was the reason he chose not to show up for OTAs, Zimmer would not comment. “I don't know,” he said. “I don't worry about those things.”-- Courtney Cronin

New England Patriots

Not on hand: QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: It's a big deal in the context of this being the first time I can recall Brady staying away from voluntary OTAs for non-injury reasons, and how he's spoken in the past about how it's a time to build a foundation and trust with his pass-catchers. At the same time, no one should doubt come the start late July and training camp that everyone will be aligned with the same goal in mind: Putting in the work to vie for another Super Bowl title. -- Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints

Not on hand: RB Mark Ingram

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: I hesitated to call this a big deal because it probably won't affect Ingram's on-field performance too much once he returns from a four-game suspension in October. He is expected to participate in the Saints' mandatory three-day minicamp in June and, presumably, he will also show up for training camp, since that is mandatory. But it's a significant development because it's a surprising one. Although Ingram, 28, is heading into the final year of his contract and recently switched agents, it's hard to picture what his endgame is here. It's impossible to imagine the Saints will re-sign Ingram to a lucrative long-term extension while he is holding out from camp and facing a four-game suspension to start the season -- especially since they already have another No. 1 running back in last year's Offensive Rookie of the Year, Alvin Kamara. So unless Ingram is simply trying to avoid injury, it feels like this could create a divide between player and team. And it seems even more likely that this could be Ingram's last year in New Orleans after he has been a core player for much of the past seven years. -- Mike Triplett

New York Giants

On hand: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Impact on team: Big deal

Reaction: Beckham is doing everything in his power to prove to the Giants that they can trust him and he's worthy of a significant financial investment. He's now been at the start of OTAs, minicamp and the start of the offseason workout program. Now he's hoping the Giants start seriously negotiating that new long-term deal he so desperately desires. Beckham is also not falling behind learning the new offense.

Not on hand: DT Damon Harrison

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: It's not a big deal for now, but it's definitely worth noting. Coach Pat Shurmur wanted all his players at OTAs and around this spring to learn the new offensive and defensive schemes. Shrumur said he's aware of Harrison's absence and they'll “leave it at that.” But it's definitely something worth monitoring moving forward considering Harrison ended last season as the team's defensive captain and is among the team's highest-paid players. -- Jordan Raanan

Oakland Raiders

Not on hand: DE Khalil Mack

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Wait, what? The 2016 NFL defensive player of the year skipping all of Jon Gruden's new regime offseason workout program is not a big deal? Sure, it would behoove Mack, who is awaiting what is sure to be a massive contract extension, to be in Alameda, learning the inner workings of new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's system. But a defensive player whose main gig is to see ball, get ball, is a quicker study than, say, a quarterback. "I haven't talked to my man," said Bruce Irvin, who has been with the team as he transitions from outside linebacker to defensive end. "I miss him, though. ... I'll never speak on another man's situation. That's him. I wish him nothing but the best. But I have to get these guys who are here ready. Arden Key, Maurice Hurst, P.J. [Hall], those guys. Those guys are going to be important for us. Khalil's situation will take care of itself, but for me, it's my job to get these guys ready for the Los Angeles Rams." -- Paul Gutierrez

Philadelphia Eagles

Not on hand: DE Michael Bennett, RB Darren Sproles

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Bennett's absence is not related to his ongoing legal matter, according to coach Doug Pederson. It's also not out of the norm, as he was known to skip some OTAs during his days with the Seattle Seahawks. Pederson expects Bennett to participate in some of the offseason workouts, and doesn't anticipate much of a learning curve for the veteran when he does arrive. Sproles typically trains in San Diego this time of year to be closer to his family, and it hasn't hurt his production in the past. -- Tim McManus

Pittsburgh Steelers

Not on hand: RB Le'Veon Bell

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Training camp is the bigger concern for Bell, who last season stayed away from team headquarters until September and still flirted with 2,000 yards in 2017. But Bell started slow, averaging 3.46 yards per carry through the first three weeks and raising questions about the importance of camp. Offseason workouts are much different in the eyes of the Steelers. They have value, but Bell knows the system well and the Steelers don't want him getting hurt. The team knows Bell will be ready even if he skips all of OTAs and minicamp. -- Jeremy Fowler

San Francisco 49ers

Not on hand: LB Reuben Foster

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: Foster has been away from the team throughout the offseason program as he awaits resolution to his pending legal issues. Clarity could come Wednesday when a Santa Clara County judge is expected to rule on which, if any, of the three felony charges (including two related to domestic violence) against him will move forward to a jury trial. Obviously, Foster's legal issues are a big deal. From a team and football perspective, Foster's absence doesn't help, especially because he's expected to take on more communication responsibilities in the defense in 2018. But there's plenty of time left to acclimate if his legal situation is cleared up soon. In the meantime, the Niners can give valuable reps to young players such as rookie Fred Warner. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Not on hand: FS Earl Thomas

Impact on team: Not a big deal

Reaction: No one really expected Thomas to attend the voluntary portion of the Seahawks' offseason program after he made clear his desire for a new contract and suggested he might hold out until he gets one. Whether or not he shows up for mandatory minicamp next month will offer a sign of how deep he may dig his heels in, though GM John Schneider has expressed his confidence that Thomas won't hold out, saying he's been told by the player's agents that he won't. -- Brady Henderson