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Though Brian Waters in under contract in 2012, his future with the club is as cloudy as that of current free agent Andre Carter.
Flirting with retirement and missing mandatory minicamp (per Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston), Waters' 2011 season may have been his last.
Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly shares his thoughts on Brian Waters in a recent blog post:
Will [Waters] retire? Will he show up to open camp? Will he show up later in camp or even after it ends? I’m not sure either Bill Belichick or Waters himself know how this will play out. Luckily the team has the depth and experience to deal with the uncertainty. Waters was very good in his first season in New England, earning his Pro Bowl nod. If he shows up and plays, the line will be better. But I’m feeling less confident of late that Waters will be starting for the Patriots this season. Time will tell.
Missing an entire offseason does not reflect favorably in terms of team commitment. Bill Belichick—who preaches a team-first mentality—may look elsewhere to fill the starting spot at right guard.
Dan Connolly has certainly earned the trust of the coaching staff, evidenced by his three-year extension worth $9.7 million (as reported by Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston). Belichick may turn in favor of the younger Connolly to start at right guard—a spot where he has played well at in the past.
If Waters shows up for camp and plays like he did last year, he'll most likely be the starter heading into the season. But as things stand today, Waters' future with the Patriots is too murky to pencil him in just yet.