Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski will attend mini-camp

USA TODAY Sports photo

Much has been made of the absence of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski at the Patriots' VOLUNTARY OTAs. But they will be in attendance when mandatory mini-camp begins in early June.

Team owner Robert Kraft confirmed a report from NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran stating that Brady would be there when it mattered.

NBC Sports Boston: 

"I think he's very excited about the upcoming season," Kraft told reporters. "These are voluntary workouts, and I think he's in great shape. I think he's at an age where -- I was thinking back to when he joined us -- he's blessed to have three children now and built a number of businesses and has certain responsibilities. I think it's very hard for him to fulfill those during the season and the commitment he has to football. I can only say this: I know he's very excited about being at minicamp and having a very special season this year."

As it pertains to Gronk, the thought is that he is staying away until his contract is restructured and to avoid the risk of any injury. He can't sign any new contract until May 24, which is the day he could report.

Meanwhile, no one really knows why Brady is staying away, but he has been working out and getting treatment at the TB12 facility next to Gillette Stadium. Some believe Brady isn't showing up because his relationship with Bill Belichick is strained, but Kraft seemed to downplay that.

"From my point of view, nothing's changed," Kraft said. "Everything is good and I think he's very excited about coming back, and I know we're excited to have him. We look forward to a great football season."

Of course, Kraft's point of view could be much different from that of Brady and Belichick's, but the Patriots are so tight-lipped that no one outside of the organization knows the full story.

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