On Tuesday, Belichick was asked about the veteran signal-caller's absence. The coach made it clear, via NFL Network's James Palmer, where his focus was: "I'm not going to talk about the guys that are not here."
Neither Brady nor tight end Rob Gronkowski reported for the opening day of workouts on Monday. However, NFL.com's Herbie Teope reported both Patriots stars are expected to be in attendance for mandatory minicamp, which will be held from June 5-7.
Of course, Brady's relationship with the only franchise he has ever known has been under a microscope since ESPN.com's Seth Wickersham detailed a power struggle between Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft last season. The team did not allow that report to become a distraction, as it made a run to the Super Bowl.
The five-time Super Bowl champ opted to "plead the fifth" earlier this offseason when asked if he felt appreciated by Belichick and Kraft:
That grabbed headlines around the internet as it did little to quiet the rumors about tension within the organization.
Belichick has stayed away from feeding the narrative. Instead, he has decided to give all of his attention to those who showed up.
"The guys that are here are improving," Belichick said, via WEEI.com's Ryan Hannable. "They are working hard and those are the guys who we are going to focus on."
It's important to remember that OTAs are voluntary—but Brady himself admitted back in 2013 that these workouts help set the tone for the entire season, via Patriots.com: "The truth is, this lays the foundation for the start of training camp and if you have a good training camp, it usually means a good start to the season. A good start to the season leads to good position entering the second half of the season. Everything ends up having some significance to it."
Brady's absence is just a storyline—for now. If he doesn't show up to mandatory minicamp, then the Patriots may have something to worry about.