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New England Patriots Give Brian Waters Surprising Amount Of Flexibility

The New England Patriots tend to move on from anyone who does not stick to the plan or becomes a distraction. Even the most productive veteran players have found themselves cut or traded when their time with the franchise was deemed over. Yet somehow Brian Waters, the Pro Bowl guard and potential Hall of Famer, continues to enjoy a certain amount of flexibility and tolerance from the team.

Waters has yet to report to the team this offseason, but rather than moving on without him and leaving it completely behind them, Pats owner Bob Kraft recently spoke about his hopes to have Waters join the team.

"I've learned, I don't sit in judgment of anyone until I find myself walking in their shoes. I don't know what's going on in his private life, what the different concerns are," Kraft said. "Surely, we would have like to have had him. I'm still not giving up hope that maybe he still wants to come back. But, you know, it's a rigorous, strenuous ... he came in last year right before the start of the season and performed beautifully. We'll see what happens."

Waters has been absent due to familial concerns of being away from his wife and five children, who remain in Texas throughout the year. Waters made the Pro Bowl last season in his first year with the Patriots and enjoyed a Super Bowl run with the team. The longtime Chiefs star is undecided on whether or not he will play in 2012.

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