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Tom Brady skips Patriots White House ceremony due to prior family commitment 04.23.15 at 11:36 am ET
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The Patriots were honored Thursday afternoon at the White House, but the most important player on the team wasn’t there.

According to multiple reports, quarterback Tom Brady missed the event because of a prior family commitment.

The Super Bowl XLIX MVP has already been to the White House three times after winning Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX.

One integral member of the championship club who did attend was new Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who joined his former teammates. Running back Stevan Ridley, who is now also on the Jets, was on hand, too.

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Tom Brady’s dedication forces rest of team to ‘take it up a notch and do more’ 04.21.15 at 5:30 pm ET
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Tom Brady was reportedly the first person at Monday's first official offseason workout. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was reportedly the first person at Monday’s first official offseason workout. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Even though Tom Brady is the oldest player on the Patriots, that doesn’t mean he’s taking short cuts or taking advantage of being a four-time Super Bowl champion.

The Patriots’ offseason program officially began Monday morning at Gillette Stadium and colleague Chris Price reported Brady was the first player to walk through the doors at 7 a.m.

Safety Devin McCourty has been a member of the team for five full seasons, so he sees how serious Brady takes his training. He said sometimes this can be taken for granted.

“For us, a lot of us take for granted because that’s all we ever see from him,” McCourty said. “I think especially newer guys that come in, free agents, you see the guy Tom Brady in here all the time — here early. Here before everyone got back and even now he’s always one of the first ones into the building. I think it forces you to raise your level of expectations just for yourself when you watch him and see everything he does. You say, ‘Wow, that must be why he’s great.’ It forces you to take it up a notch and do more.”

Brady drew some attention this offseason when he jumped off a cliff in Costa Rica. McCourty said he would never do that, but Brady can do whatever he wants.

“I thought that was cool,” he said. Tom has what four Super Bowl‘s now? You have to live on the edge.”

“He’s having fun,” he added. “He’s a great swimmer I guess. I wouldn’t have jumped, I can’t swim.”

With the Patriots winning the Super Bowl over two and a half months ago, the team is already excited to get back to work and prepare to defend their crown.

“I think the Super Bowl has kind of been over for awhile now and I think like all athletes after awhile you’re excited to get back into it and what the next year holds and what we can do as a team,” said McCourty. “I think everyone is more excited about that.”

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Senior signal-caller: Tom Brady will enter 2015 as one of oldest players in NFL 04.20.15 at 10:50 pm ET
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Tom Brady will turn 38 prior to the start of the 2015 season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tom Brady will turn 38 prior to the start of the 2015 season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In hindsight, it’€™s probably no surprise that quarterback Tom Brady was the first guy to show up at Gillette Stadium on Monday for the offseason program. He knows older guys take a little longer to get prepared before a workout.

Unless something unforeseen happens, Brady will enter the 2015 season as the fifth-oldest non-kicker or punter in the NFL — the second straight season where the Patriots’€™ quarterback will have that designation. In addition, he’€™ll be the 10th-oldest player in the NFL. Here’€™s a look at the 10 oldest players in the league this past season, with who they played for and their age as of September 1, 2015. (By all accounts, all the players on this list are expected to try and play in 2015.)

1. Kicker Adam Vinatieri, 42 years old (12/28/72)
2. Kicker Phil Dawson, 40 years old (1/23/75)
3. Kicker Matt Bryant, 40 years old (5/29/75)
4. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck 39 years old (9/25/75)
5. Kicker Jay Feely, 39 years old (5/23/76)
6. Punter Shane Lechler 39 years old (8/7/76)
7. Long snapper Mike Leach 38 years old (10/18/76)
8. Quarterback Peyton Manning 39 years old (3/24/76)
9. Defensive back Charles Woodson 38 years old (10/7/76)
10. Quarterback Tom Brady 38 years old (8/3/77)

Brady became one of only five quarterbacks over the age of 35 to win a Super Bowl with the Patriots’ win over the Seahawks in February, joining a group that includes John Elway, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett and Johnny Unitas. If he can win another one this year, he’€™d become the second-oldest quarterback of all-time to win a Super Bowl. Elway was 38 years and 217 days when he won the second of his back-to-back titles. (Brady would be 38 years and 176 days old on Feb. 7, 2016, the date of Super Bowl 50.)

Barring an unforeseen trade, the 2015 season will mark the fourth consecutive year Brady will be the oldest player on the New England roster. (The last time Brady wasn’€™t the oldest player on the New England roster was at the end of the 2011 season, when offensive lineman Brian Waters, defensive lineman Shaun Ellis and running back Kevin Faulk were all on the team at the time, and all older than the quarterback.) While things could change come draft weekend, currently the youngest player on the New England roster is offensive lineman Cameron Fleming, who will turn 23 on Sept. 3. (To put that in perspective, Fleming was nine when Brady and the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI.) Their current 16-year age difference between Brady and Fleming is the largest age discrepancy on the New England roster since Junior Seau (age 40) and Patrick Chung (age 22) occupied the same roster in 2009.

Of course, older quarterbacks are nothing new for the Patriots. Steve Grogan was 37 years and 103 days when he took his last snap for New England on Nov. 4, 1990. Vinny Testaverde was 43 years and 55 days old when he saw his last action for the Patriots in a playoff win over the Jets on Jan. 7, 2007. And Doug Flutie was 43 years old and 70 days when he delivered the dropkick in the regular-season finale of the 2006 season on Jan. 1, 2005 against the Dolphins.

The good news for the Patriots? Despite his age, the quarterback doesn’t appear to show signs of slowing down. The fact that he was the first player in attendance at Gillette Stadium on Monday shows he’s still got a passion for the game. And as long as there’s enough avocado ice cream in the greater Foxboro area and Alex Guerrero doesn’t leave his side, there’s no telling how long he can keep playing.

With apologies to the punters and kickers, here’€™s a look at the four position players who will enter the 2015 regular-season older than Brady:

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Source: QB Tom Brady first player at Gillette for start of offseason workouts Monday at 10:42 am ET
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Tom Brady was back at Gillette on Monday for the first day of offseason workouts. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was back at Gillette on Monday for the first day of offseason workouts. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

A source at Gillette Stadium said quarterback Tom Brady was first player in building at 7 a.m. Monday morning for the start of the Patriots offseason program.

The 37-year-old Brady, coming off his fourth Super Bowl ring and the oldest player on the New England roster, was one of several notable players in attendance for the start of the first week of offseason workouts. It was a group that included tight end Rob Gronkowski.

While teams with new coaches have been back to football since April 6, the Patriots (and the rest of the teams with returning staffs) will open their offseason program this week — the first day they are allowed back in the facility to meet with coaches is Monday. Here are some of the regulations that each team has to abide by when they conduct their offseason programs:

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase 1 consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase 2 consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase 3 consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs.” No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.
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Reports: Tim Tebow, Eagles reach agreement on contract 04.19.15 at 9:34 pm ET
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Tim Tebow spent roughly three months with the Patriots in the summer of 2013. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow spent roughly three months with the Patriots in the summer of 2013. (Elsa/Getty Images)

He’€™s back.

According to multiple reports, Tim Tebow has reached an agreement on a deal with the Eagles and will sign a contract on Monday. The quarterback, who has suited up for the Broncos, Jets and Patriots, spent the 2014 season out of football working for ESPN.

The 27-year-old, a former Heisman Trophy winner with the University of Florida, joins an intriguing group of quarterbacks in Philly, as he’€™ll battle Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley for snaps.

Tebow was in Foxboro for the summer of 2013, and had issues with New England while working as one of the backups to Tom Brady. In three preseason games, he was 11-for-30 for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions before being released. However, he earned the respect of many in the locker room, including a nod from the starting quarterback.

“I enjoyed being around him very much,” Brady said of Tebow when asked about him by WEEI shortly after Tebow was cut. “He’s a very talented football player, and to have a chance to spend a couple months with him and kind of become a friend of his was a great thing.’€

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Julian Edelman creates inspired ‘Star Wars’-Patriots mashup 04.17.15 at 11:38 pm ET
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Let’s face it — Tom Brady could post a half-million videos of him jumping off cliffs or Photoshopping his body into a full cast as an April Fools prank, but he’d never be able to come up with something like this. Julian Edelman just changed the social media game in the Patriots locker room with this little number.

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What did Bill Belichick say about Tom Brady shortly after drafting him 15 years ago today? 04.16.15 at 11:21 am ET
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Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the professional relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the professional relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Thursday marks a unique day in Patriots history. On April 16, 2000, the Patriots drafted quarterback Tom Brady with a sixth-round selection — 199th overall. In the wake of the selection, New England coach Bill Belichick met the media to talk about the 2000 draft class, and offered this up in the way of his new quarterback:

“The value board at that point really just clearly put him as the top value. [Tom] Brady is a guy who has obviously played at a high level of competition in front of a lot of people. He’s been in a lot of pressure situations. We felt that this year, his decision-making was improved from his junior year after he took over for [Brian] Griese and cut his interceptions down. [He’s] a good, tough, competitive, smart quarterback that is a good value, and how he does and what he’ll be able to do. … we’ll just put him out there with everybody else and let him compete and see what happens.”

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