The New England Patriots opened mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, and they are at near perfect attendance. Head coach Bill Belichick confirmed reports that veteran guard Brian Waters is not present at the team's minicamp, citing personal reasons as the excuse for the lineman's absence.
Waters flirted with retirement after the season, but subsequent reports have indicated he will return this year. Traditionally he works out on his own during the offseason, but this is a mandatory portion of the offseason. With Belichick saying Waters has been excused, he may not be fined for missing.
Waters was signed shortly before the start of the 2011 season and still performed very well as a starter on the Patriots offensive line. His absence likely won't affect his standing with the team moving forward. If he plays this year, you can expect to see him at training camp.