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Three-time Super Bowl loser Tom Brady doesn’t need the Patriots’ OTAs

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NFL: New England Patriots-OTA Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

I’m really not sure what purpose OTAs serve. I guess they’re a chance for coaches to do some kind of work with players. I do know that they’re all wearing shorts when it happens, something I can definitely relate to, but I’m not sure the value of working in shorts is the same for a pro football player as it is for the home-bound based sports media middle-management dead-enders.

The most important facet of OTAs, near as I can tell, is it gives us something to scream about when a player does not attend these inconsequential early summer workouts.

Last year, Odell Beckham Jr. skipped OTAs with the Giants because he wanted a new contract (OK, there’s a second reason OTAs are important — leverage). There was much consternation, especially after he had the audacity to enjoy some time yachting on his day off prior to the overmatched Giants’ playoff loss to the Packers.

I actually had to look up when OBJ took his infamous boat ride because that (dumb) story got conflated with his skipping offseason shorts time.

This year’s high-profile OTA skipper is Tom Brady. Gasp.

Rob Gronkowski is out too. Julio Jones will not be at Falcons’ OTAs, and Aaron Donald will miss them for the second year in a row. And there are probably plenty of other, less high-profile players we doughy media types just don’t have the time to excoriate publicly. Besides, tradition demands only that we crucify one player for skipping OTAs, so this year it’s Brady who’s dying for all the sinners.

These OTA sessions are actually the third phase of New England’s voluntary offseason program. Brady missed the first two sessions as well. Also, they are voluntary sessions, though I’m sure Bill Belichick has a slightly different interpretation of the exact meaning of that word and how it applies here.

Brady’s decision will get more scrutiny after he “pleaded the fifth” when asked if he felt appreciated by his team.

Now, I know what you’re thinking — “Tom Brady just lost his THIRD Super Bowl, his first to a team besides the Giants. Maybe he should be working a little harder.”

Despite the clear downward trend reflected by that fact, he is still spending his offseason time preparing his 41-year-old body to play like a mere 37-year-old. He was working out on beach earlier this month. He’s also been doing football related things, while wearing shorts, at UCLA, and he’ll host some of his Patriots pals for exercise sessions in Montana later this summer, probably after he attends mandatory minicamp.

On top of those things, there’s his plyometrics stuff he does when he’s not drinking lots of electrolytes and hawking his age-defying lifestyle brand with personal guru Alex Guerrero, AKA the guy Belichick banned from team activities.

Despite the fact that Brady doesn’t regularly eat delicious strawberries, whatever he’s doing with his body in the offseason seems to be working okay. He was the MVP last year ... at FORTY. And even though he became a three-time Super Bowl loser this year, it wasn’t Brady’s decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler, who did attend last year’s voluntary offseason workouts.

Tom Brady doesn’t need your damn OTAs. Neither did Odell Beckham. And skipping OTAs didn’t prevent Donald from laughing off the feeble blocking attempts of opposing offensive linemen who did attend OTAs.

There is a point to OTAs. Even reps in shorts have value in a league where full-team practice time is limited. But there is no real limit to the amount airtime networks have to fill or available column inches that have to be filled with something.

Brady won’t be admonished the way OBJ was for skipping voluntary workouts. (There are a lot of reasons for that, but we’ll save those 1,000 words for another slow news day.) But we’re still going to have to hear about it all week and beyond.

The process will repeat itself next season when some other scofflaw dares take the word voluntary literally. And when it does, we’ll update this lil’ blog post or maybe even write a new one, because, shit, it’s May, I got time.