TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — No keeping Tom Brady off the practice field.
The 43-year-old quarterback was a full participant Tuesday at mandatory minicamp for the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, taking part in individual drills and doing some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.
The session came despite coach Bruce Arians saying last week there was a chance he’d limit Brady’s involvement as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.
“I don’t know how much I’ll let him do with guys chasing him around. … He might be doing a lot of coaching,” Arians said then.
Brady wanted to work, though, and Arians liked what he saw from the seven-time Super Bowl champ during the opening session of a three-day minicamp that runs through Thursday.
“He looked fine. … The only thing I didn’t want him in was the blitz period where some guys might get around him too quick,” Arians said, adding team doctors gave their blessing to Brady joining practice.
“They both said he was good to go, (but) we’d still be careful with what we’re doing with him,” the coach said. “Trying to stop him from playing is pretty tough.”
Brady and backup Blaine Gabbert worked with veterans on one field.
No. 3 quarterback Ryan Griffin and rookie Kyle Trask, a second-round draft pick who on Tuesday signed a four-year, $5,535,000 contract that includes a $1,385,000 signing bonus, worked with a group of mostly younger players on a second field .
Trask was the 64th overall selection in the draft. His deal leaves first-round linebacker Joe Tryon and third-round offensive lineman Robert Hainsey as the team’s only unsigned picks.
The start of minicamp came as the Bucs reiterated a commitment to giving themselves the best chance to repeat as NFL champions by giving general manager Jason Licht a contract extension and boosting Arians’ salary for next season.
While details have not been disclosed, Arians said he appreciates the club adjusting terms of a four-year contract he signed in 2019.
“It means the world,” Arians said. “They rewarded us for doing a good job. It wasn’t necessary, but they wanted to do it. I was really happy to see Jason’s extension. He very well earned it.”
Arians and Licht made a good on a promise this offseason to do whatever necessary to keep as much of the club’s championship roster together.
Key moves included giving Brady a contract extension that created much-needed salary-cap space, placing the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin and negotiating new contracts with Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Bryant and Ndamukong Suh.
As a result, all 22 starters are returning from last season.
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