FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Summer vacation is over. The Patriots are back to work.

Players, coaches and staff members were at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday in preparation for the start of training camp on Thursday, and Coach Bill Belichick met with the media to talk about the state of the Patriots.

“Always good to get going this time of year,” Belichick said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and preparation put into the 2019 season going all the way back to Feb. 4. Various aspects of team building, training, offseason program, OTAs, minicamp, so forth and so on. Now’s the chance where we can really start to see it all come together.

“There’s a lot of different types of players on our team. Some guys that have been here before, some who are new. Some that have been with other teams in the league and in various stages of experience. Excited to work with all of them. Excited to see how it all comes together. We’ll just take it one step at a time, one day at a time. We obviously have a long, long way to go.”

There are plenty of questions surrounding the Patriots this year. On Wednesday, Belichick didn’t have many answers as the Patriots are still in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode for a handful of players.

At the moment, Tom Brady comes to camp in the final year of his contract. According to NBC Boston, Brady’s camp and the Patriots are talking about an extension, but the team has been balking at the length of a new deal.

Asked about Brady’s contract, Belichick replied, “I’m not going to talk about player contracts or any contracts for that matter.”

On Josh Gordon, the Patriots are in a holding pattern. The receiver is suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. There’s no timetable for his return.

“That will be a league matter,” Belichick said. “You should talk to them about it.”

On a positive note, Isaiah Wynn won’t start training camp on the physically unable to perform list after suffering an Achilles injury last summer. The 2018 first-round pick could start the season as New England’s starting left tackle, replacing Trent Brown.

“We’ll see where everybody is,” Belichick said when asked about Wynn. “That’s part of the start of training camp, is to evaluate everybody’s physical condition, especially the players that didn’t participate last year or are new to the team that are dealing with some kind of condition. I don’t know. We’ll see how it all goes.”

The other 2018 first-round pick, Sony Michel, will start the summer on the PUP list. The running back had another procedure on his knee this offseason and missed OTAs and minicamp.

“I think Sony’s working hard,” Belichick said. “We have players that are in a lot of different stages of physical readiness at this point and time. Take it day by day. See how it goes.”

PATRIOTS SIGN KENDRICKS: Following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots have a glaring need at tight end. On Wednesday, they added another veteran to try to rectify that situation.

Multiple sources reported that the Patriots have signed tight end Lance Kendricks to a one-year deal. An eight-year veteran, the 31-year-old will give New England some much-needed experience at the tight end position. Kendricks most recently played for the Green Bay Packers. Last year, he caught 19 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots haven’t had much luck at tight end this offseason. First, Gronk retired following the first two weeks of free agency. The Patriots added Ben Watson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse. Watson, however, was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for taking a banned substance. Seferian-Jenkins was released after deciding to step away from football to focus on personal issues.

Kendricks will give the Patriots a veteran presence to start the season with Watson out. A second-round pick in 2011, Kendricks spent his first six NFL seasons as a starting tight end for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams. He finished with a career-high 519 receiving yards in 2012 and made a career-high 50 receptions in 2016.

Kendricks spent the last two seasons as a backup tight end with the Packers. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Kendricks has decent size and will now battle the likes of LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck to make the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster.


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