"I don't worry about much these days. I've been around long enough to see all different kinds of things happen -- like I said, trades, people being cut, guys joining the team, all the media attention with what happened in 2007, post-Super Bowls, tough losses," said Brady. "It comes with the territory. I think everyone is prepared to deal with some level of different things that happen on a daily basis and to be mentally tough enough to push through and still be able to do your job at a high level is most important."
Brady had to downplay his sway over the personnel department in March, when the Patriots lost Wes Welker to the Denver Broncos in free agency. Welker, Brady's close friend and offseason workout partner, was quickly replaced by St. Louis Rams unrestricted free agent Danny Amendola. The Patriots also cut Brandon Lloyd, who signed a three-year deal in 2012 as a free agent from the Rams.
"We've had a lot of turnover this year, especially at that position," Brady said. "Really there hasn't been anyone that we've thrown to in any game action. That's going to be really important as the process develops."
Tebow is trying to adapt to a new city, organization, offense and teammates. Owner Robert Kraft said coach Bill Belichick did discuss Tebow with him before the 25-year-old free agent signed on June 10.
Kraft said having "the greatest quarterback of all time" in Brady remains the most important piece of the puzzle. In Tebow, Kraft said the Patriots are simply surrounding themselves with more "good people."
"I think he's hard working and very cooperative. I don't think there's any coach who wouldn't like to have a team full of people like he is," said Kraft.
Belichick downplayed Tebow's presence for the second consecutive day but Kraft did offer his own evaluation of the career 47.9 percent passer."He's a lot better than I am. Actually watching him yesterday, I was just out there for a short period, but to me he looked pretty good," Kraft said. "It's fun having him here. ... It's nice to have three quarterbacks that can throw it very well."
Brady's work ethic and off-field practices are the stuff of legend. He stopped short of saying he'd taken Tebow under his wing, but said communication between quarterbacks -- including backup Ryan Mallett -- is never ending.
"We constantly talk. I've been lucky to play with so many good quarterbacks over the course of my career and I've learned from every one of them, starting with Drew (Bledose) and Damon Huard and John Friesz and Michael Bishop and Jim Miller and Vinny (Testaverde) and (Doug) Flutie and (Matt) Cassel and (Brian) Hoyer," Brady said. "We've always had a really strong group and a very close group. I'm excited to have Tim."
Tim Tebow wasn't the only former Florida Gator making headlines at the Patriots minicamp.
While seemingly the entire media world was convening on Foxborough after New England signed the former Heisman Trophy winner to be its third-string quarterback in minicamp, linebacker Brandon Spikes was also making his offseason debut on the practice field with his teammates.
Spikes, the former second-round pick who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, had not taken part in the New England offseason program or voluntary OTA workouts this spring at Gillette Stadium. Instead, the run-stuffing middle linebacker has worked out and rehabbed a knee injury in his home state of Florida to work out at Bommarito Performance.
"Honestly I just felt like I was trying to put myself in the best position to compete for a spot on the team and also to help this team win a championship," Spikes said after his first minicamp practice. "You guys know me; I frequently do things a little different than everybody else. I don't think that's bad or a shocker. Honestly, if everybody in this world was a conformist it would be one boring place."
Spikes added that he kept in touch with some of his teammates this spring to remain up to speed with what the players were discussing in meeting rooms, but added that, "I felt like being on my own I normally do better and can be productive that way."
While the linebacker is well within his rights to skip OTAs under CBA rules, he was the only Patriots player to not take part in the practices or at least spend time at Gillette rehabbing. As such, what was coach Bill Belichick's reaction to Spikes staying away this spring?
"It is what it is," Belichick said, unleashing one of his favored cliche responses. "We all know what the rules and the guidelines are and that's what they are. "It is what it is. We don't make the rules."
One thing that Belichick and the Patriots do control to some degree is Spikes' future with the team. Coming off by far his most productive season, Spikes is likely looking to build on his 128 tackles, five forced fumbles, seven passes defensed and a sack from a year ago to hit the contract jackpot next offseason.
As such, he was asked if his absence from OTAs was related to his contract or if had any issues with his contract.
"Now you know I can't speak on that," Spikes responded with an uncomfortable smile. "Why would you ask me that? No comment guys. No comment."
Sometimes, though, actions speak louder than words.
Coach Bill Belichick cancelled the third day of New England's scheduled three-day mandatory minicamp June 13. The coach sent his players home to an early vacation after morning meetings. It's the second-straight season Belichick has ended minicamp a day early, generally seen as an acknowledgment of the work his team accomplished this spring.
Those players not seen on the practice field in any fashion for the final day of New England's minicamp action on June 12 included wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot), safety Kanorris Davis, guard Nick McDonald, and tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski (back/arm).
Hernandez' absence is notable in that while he's been rehabbing this spring after shoulder surgery, he's been on the field for every previous session and seemingly had been taking on more active participation in drills.
Other players on the field but in various states of participation/rehab work included wide receivers Mark Harrison (foot) and Aaron Dobson, safety Duron Harmon, cornerback Devin McCourty (shoulder), wide receiver Josh Boyce (shoulder), running back Stevan Ridley, guard Dan Connolly (shoulder), tackle Sebastian Vollmer (knee), running back Brandon Bolden, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, linebacker A.J. Edds, tight end Brandon Ford and cornerback Nate Ebner.
"He's a lot better than I am."- Patriots owner Robert Kraft when asked what he thought about Tim Tebow's throwing mechanics.
Linebacker A.J. Edds is back with the Patriots, where he played part of the 2011 season. Edds missed the entire 2012 season on injured reserve with the Indianapolis Colts due to a knee injury.
A fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2010, Edds spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a knee injury. He was released by Miami on Sept. 5, 2011, and claimed off waivers by New England on Sept 7. He played in two games for the Patriots before being released and signed to the practice squad.
Edds was signed to the Colts' 53-man roster off the New England practice squad on Sept. 28 and he played in nine games for the Colts. In March, he wasn't tendered by the Colts as a restricted free agent.
(not tendered offers)
CB Will Allen (not tendered as UFA).
S Josh Barrett (not tendered as UFA).
WR Deion Branch (not tendered as UFA).
S Derrick Martin (not tendered as UFA).
C/G Jamey Richard (not tendered as UFA).
DE Trevor Scott (not tendered as UFA).
WR Donte' Stallworth: Not tendered as UFA/Redskins; terms unknown.
LB Tracy White (not tendered as UFA).
LB Jamie Collins (2/52): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
CB Logan Ryan (3/83): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
S Duron Harmon (3/91): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
WR Josh Boyce (4/102): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
DE Michael Buchanan (7/226): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
LB Steve Beauharnais (7/235): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
CB Kyle Arrington: UFA; $16M/4 yrs, $6.5M SB/$9.5M guaranteed/$7.5M fully guaranteed.
CB Marquice Cole: UFA; terms unknown.
WR Julian Edelman: UFA; $765,000/1 yr, $50,000 WO.
LB Dane Fletcher: Potential RFA; terms unknown.
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: RFA tendered at 1.323M with fifth-round pick as compensation; terms unknown.
LB Niko Koutouvides: UFA; terms unknown.
CB Aqib Talib: UFA; $5M/1 yr.
T Sebastian Vollmer: UFA; $17M/4 yrs, $8.5M guaranteed.
WR Danny Amendola: UFA Rams; $31M/5 yrs, $6M SB/$10M SB.
DL Armond Armstead: FA; $1.49M/3 years, $655,000 guaranteed.
RB LeGarrette Blount (trade Buccaneers).
T/G Kevin Haslam (waivers Chargers).
WR Lavelle Hawkins: FA Titans; terms unknown.
WR Michael Jenkins: FA Vikings; terms unknown.
WR Donald Jones: Not tendered as RFA by Bills; $4.155M/3 yrs, no SB/$435,000 report/RB each year.
DT Tommy Kelly: FA Raiders; $5M/2 yrs, $1M SB.
OT Will Svitek: UFA Falcons; 1 yr, terms unknown.
QB Tim Tebow: FA Jets; $1.385M/2 yrs.
RB/KR Leon Washington: FA Seahawks; $1.2M/1 yr, $360,000 SB.
S Adrian Wilson: FA Cardinals; $5M/3 yrs, $1M SB.
S Patrick Chung: UFA Eagles; $10M/3 yrs, $2.285M SB/$4M guaranteed.
DE Brandon Deaderick (released).
RB Jeff Demps (traded Buccaneers).
FB Tony Fiammetta (released).
T Kyle Hix (released).
FB Spencer Larsen (released).
WR Brandon Lloyd (released).
DT Kyle Love (released/non-football illness).
DL Myron Pryor (released).
G Donald Thomas: UFA Colts; $14M/4 yrs, $1M SB.
WR Wes Welker: UFA Broncos; $12M/2 yrs, $12M guaranteed/$6M fully guaranteed.
RB Danny Woodhead: UFA Chargers; $3.5M/2 yrs, $1M SB.