It would have been a bigger surprise to me if Brian Waters did report for the start of training camp.
At 35 and entering his 15th season of pro football, the Patriots left guard gets to work banker's hours because he's shown he can work banker's hours and not suffer.
Waters signed with the Patriots on September 4 of last year. Days later, he played seamlessly in the opener at Miami. And months after that, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
Bill Belichick will let veterans play by different rules provided those players are A) talented enough and B) professional.
It was a practice Belichick began with outside linebacker Roman Phifer back in 2001. And it's almost certainly what's up with Waters.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe got Waters on the phone Wednesday and Waters gave Bedard nothing.
"Im not really talking about it, youll have to talk to the Patriots about it, he said. At this moment, Im not really discussing the situation. Right now Im just handling things between me and the team. If they want to talk to you, thats fine but Im not really talking about it.Youre just going to have to talk to the team. Im allowing them to handle all the media stuff right now. Were going to do it this way, because its the best way to do it.Waters is under contract for this year. He skipped minicamp -- an excused absence, according to Bill Belichick -- and has been back home in Texas much of the offseason.
Do not expect him to stay there until the regular season.
As for the team releasing running back Joseph Addai on the eve of camp, that was a mild surprise. While Addai hasn't been a monster in past seasons for the Colts, he's still just 29 and figured to be a nice fit as a veteran back in a stable of young guys.
The Patriots have four backs on the roster, Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden.