Official website of the New England Patriots

News Blitz 4/18: Patriots begin offseason workouts

It seems like just yesterday that the Patriots were pulling off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to secure New England's fifth Lombardi Trophy.

But it's really been two-plus months and in the 365-day world of NFL competition that's a lifetime, meaning it's time to truly start working toward the 2017 title-defense campaign.

As this video on Patriots.com shows, there were plenty of key faces in attendance on Monday.

The Boston Herald notes that the workouts opened without Tom Brady and Malcolm Butler, the restricted free agent who is not allowed to take part as he's not technically under contract until he signs his RFA tender. The Herald also reports that Brady is expected to be with the Patriots when the Super Bowl champs make the traditional visit to the White House on Wednesday.

The Boston Globe continues its pre-draft work breaking down the Patriots roster at each position, and today looking at the well-stocked quarterback depth chart.

ESPN's The Undefeated delves into Malcolm Mitchell being honored for helping kids learn to read, an issue the receiver is well versed in.

ESPN.com has a crazy trade-filled mock draft that includes the Patriots landing the No. 1 overall pick in a three-way deal that ships both Jimmy Garoppolo and Butler out of New England.

CSNNE.com also reports on the Patriots opening workouts without Brady and Butler. CSNNE.com's positional draft previews look at some of the available defensive tackles that might be a fit with the Patriots. CSNNE.com also has Devin McCourty saying his advice to Butler in the cornerback's contract situation to, "Do what's best for yourself."

NFL.com offers up a six-round mock draft that has New England landing Auburn outside linebacker Carl Lawson with its top pick, No. 72 overall. NFL.com also looks at the hierarchy in the AFC and who could challenge the Patriots in 2017.

NESN.com says a Patriots fan used his leverage to stick it to ESPN on Monday, shooting down a request by the network to use a photo that made the rounds on social media.

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