The New England Patriots were missing their two biggest stars as OTAs began Monday, but one of them could be back sooner than later. According to a report from NFL Media’s James Palmer, Rob Gronkowski is working on restructuring his contract with the Patriots.

Gronkowski, 29, got a new deal last year on May 24. Because of that, the Patriots can’t complete any incentive-laden deal until May 24 of this year.

Quarterback Tom Brady was also absent from OTAs on Monday.

The Patriots need Gronkowski for their offense next season, as he is an impact player in both the running and passing game. As a receiver, Gronkowski had 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns last season in 14 games, and was named first-team All-Pro. With Brandin Cooks off to the Los Angeles Rams, Gronkowski could be an even bigger part of the offense.

The knock on Gronkowski is that he is frequently injured. At age 29, that likely is not going to change much. Gronkowski said after the Super Bowl that he was considering retirement, but appears ready to play again this season – as long as his contract gets done.

Gronkowski, like Brady, did not participate in voluntary workouts earlier this offseason. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that Gronkowski is expected back by mandatory minicamp.

LIONS: The NFL has determined sexual assault allegations against Coach Matt Patricia from 1996 are not subject to its personal conduct policy.

“The allegations occurred well before his affiliation with the NFL,” the league said after completing its review of the Lions’ interviewing process.

Patricia has said he was falsely accused of allegations that resurfaced in a Detroit News report.

The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed. He and a friend were indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury on one count each of aggravated sexual assault. They were accused of assaulting a woman on South Padre Island.

The Lions hired Patricia in February after firing Jim Caldwell. The former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offensive lineman was hired by the Patriots in 2004. Patricia became one of Bill Belichick’s top assistants, serving as defensive coordinator from 2012 through last season.

RAMS: Aaron Donald is skipping another set of offseason workouts while his contract negotiations with Los Angeles drag on into their second year.

The All-Pro defensive tackle’s teammates would like to see this standoff resolved before it has any chance to impact their promising season.

“Hey man, pay the man,” cornerback Marcus Peters said. “You win the MVP? Come on now.”

BILLS: Richie Incognito’s playing days might not be over after all. The veteran guard is free to resume his career after Buffalo released him from their reserve/retired list. The move came six weeks after Incognito abruptly announced he was retiring on his Twitter account.

GIANTS: Eli Apple is vowing to mend his ways after being given a second chance by New York. The 22-year-old cornerback who was the 10th pick in the 2016 draft on Monday promised to be a better player, a better person, and a better teammate as the Giants start a rebuilding process under new coach Pat Shurmur after a 3-13 season.

It was a year Apple would like to forget, both on and off the field. He started only seven games, was inactive for four and was suspended for the final game of the schedule after getting into an argument with the coaching staff. The Ohio State product also got in a beef with Landon Collins that ended with the star safety calling him a cancer.

CARDINALS: Arizona released cornerback Marcus Cooper. The move comes after the team acquired cornerback Jamar Taylor in a trade with the Cleveland Browns.