Sources: Tom Brady leads workouts

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is back in the Boston area, and led players-only workouts that began Wednesday, according to sources familiar with his plans.

As many as 40 Patriots, including Brady, worked out Wednesday morning at Boston College's Alumni Stadium, according to a source who attended the workout. The training session, which lasted about 2½ hours, ended around 11:45 a.m. ET. The location of the workout was first reported by the Boston Herald.

According to The Boston Globe, several starters attended the workout, including Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Patrick Chung and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The newspaper also reported that rookies Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen and Ryan Mallett were at the workout, as well as Ty Warren, Mike Wright and Aaron Hernandez, who all are coming back from injuries.

Brady's return to New England is in conjunction with his charity work for Best Buddies International, as he is hosting a football game at Harvard on Friday night, before riding in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge on Saturday.

Brady has spent the majority of the offseason training in California as he works his way back from January foot surgery. Knowing he'd be in the region this week, he attempted to gather as many teammates as possible to join him, particularly pass-catchers.

While the value of player-led workouts during the lockout is debatable, many believe chemistry between a quarterback and receiver can grow during the offseason. One could point to Brady's past work with Branch and Welker as evidence of that.

Not surprisingly, teammates have responded, according to sources, breaking from their personal workout regimens to join Brady, who spearheaded the arrangements.

For those who have been working out regularly around Foxborough, such as Gronkowski and receiver Brandon Tate, it's a minor tweak. For others, such as receiver Julian Edelman, it required a bit more planning. Edelman, who has mostly been working out in Los Angeles, flew in to town Tuesday after appearing on the NFL Network the day before.

Welker had previously said plans were in the works with Brady.

"It's kind of tough just not being able to go up to the Patriots' facility and really get together and do something, but we're working on our schedules to get together and make sure we do something," he said on May 21.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.