FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots kick off their mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, and here are a few things to know:
Late-morning practice. Media members will arrive on the two practice fields behind Gillette Stadium at 11:25 a.m., which is when the stretching portion of the workout begins. The practice is scheduled to end between 1:30-1:45 p.m., which will be followed by interviews with coach Bill Belichick and players on the field. Tom Brady is not expected to be addressing reporters at the camp.
Closed to the public. While each day of minicamp practice is open to reporters, it is closed to the public.
Extension of OTAs. The mandatory minicamp is essentially an extension of the five organized team activities the Patriots have previously held. One of the only differences is that it is mandatory. Also, the workday is permitted to be longer for players during minicamp compared to OTAs.
Players can be fined for absence. Because the minicamp is mandatory, absent players can be fined by teams. A player missing all three days of minicamp this year is subject to a $76,580 fine, which is why every Patriots player is expected to be in attendance.
More context on players who didn't practice. During the team's first voluntary organized team activity open to reporters, 17 players weren't present: receiver Julian Edelman, cornerback Malcolm Butler, cornerback Logan Ryan, running back LeGarrette Blount, safety Duron Harmon, running back Dion Lewis, safety Nate Ebner, long snapper Joe Cardona, guard Tre' Jackson, guard Josh Kline, guard Shaq Mason, defensive tackle Frank Kearse, offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, left tackle Nate Solder, wide receiver Danny Amendola and defensive tackle Alan Branch. Some of those players are rehabilitating from offseason surgery (e.g. Edelman, Amendola, Lewis etc.), others were celebrating personal milestones in their life (e.g. Harmon was getting married) or pursuing lifelong dreams (e.g. Ebner trying to make the U.S. Olympic rugby team), while Branch continued to stay away from voluntary work as he has throughout most of his career. It's possible we'll learn more context on the absence of others, such as Butler, who has been around the stadium regularly despite not practicing on the day reporters watched the team's OTA.
How the young players are hanging in. This will be a good check-in on some of the team's younger players to see who is retaining information and able to keep up with the new information as it marks the third week of on-field practices. These practices are designed to give young players a foundation so when they get to training camp, they have a chance to be competitive, and the mental aspect of things is equally as important as the physical side of it.