The New England Patriots open training camp on July 30 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Here's a closer look at the Patriots' camp, which wraps up in mid-August (date to be determined):
Top storyline: It's all about the quarterbacks, starting with Tom Brady's availability because of suspension and then focusing on Jimmy Garoppolo's readiness if he's needed. At one point in spring minicamps, Garoppolo was throwing to tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Julian Edelman in 11-on-11 drills, which was a reflection of how the Patriots were balancing the idea of getting him ready just in case. Coaches believe Garoppolo has made big strides entering his second year, but as we remember from 2008 with Matt Cassel, there is always an element of the unknown until a backup is thrust into the role on game day.
Position battles to watch: With top 2014 cornerbacks Darrelle Revis (Jets) and Brandon Browner (Saints) now elsewhere, the top candidates to fill the void appear to be third-year man Logan Ryan and Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler. Veterans Bradley Fletcher and Tarell Brown are also in the mix, while rookie Darryl Roberts (seventh round, Marshall) and veteran Robert McClain (signed from the Falcons) are also higher on the projected depth chart. On offense, the pass-catching running back role previously filled by Shane Vereen (52.9 percent of snaps played in 2014) is a biggie, with James White (2014 fourth-round pick) and fourth-year players Travaris Cadet, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden competing for the job.
Veterans to watch: Three top players on defense coming off significant medical issues -- linebackers Jerod Mayo (patellar tendon) and Dont'a Hightower (labrum) and defensive end Chandler Jones (believed to be hip) -- will be among those to monitor as possibilities to land on the physically unable to perform list. Fletcher, who was competitive in Philadelphia in 2013 and for parts of 2014 before dipping considerably, hopes to revive his career in the same fashion safety Patrick Chung did in 2014 after arriving from the Eagles. Couple that with the team's major changes at the position and he's a top player to watch.
Rookies to watch: Guards Tre' Jackson (Florida State) and Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech) top the list as one of them could be in line to start if they prove to be quick studies. The guard spot, with 2014 captain Dan Connolly retiring, is notable and the club invested fourth-round draft choices in Jackson and Mason. First-round pick Malcom Brown (defensive tackle) has a chance to make an early impact while Roberts, the seventh-rounder out of Marshall, plays a position where the team is in transition.
Bubble watch: Safety Tavon Wilson, a 2012 second-round pick whose primary impact comes on special teams and in the dime package on defense, was the first player to come to mind. This is a result of the Patriots selecting Stanford safety Jordan Richards, who fits a similar profile, in the second round. Also curious to see how secure veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch will be after he stayed away from the voluntary offseason program.
Easley's potential emergence intrigues: The Patriots didn't get first-round level contributions from 2014 top pick Dominique Easley last season, and Easley was placed on season-ending injured reserve in December because of his knee. Easley was held out of offseason camps, but hoped to be ready for the start of training camp. If he's given the green light, his potential as an explosive interior pass-rusher could be key for the defense.
For daily updates at camp, check out the New England Patriots clubhouse page.