Fine line with Waters' absence

July, 28, 2012
7/28/12
1:40
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One wrinkle to the absence of veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters, who has not reported to the team in training camp, is that the Patriots could possibly be fining him.

It doesn't sound like they are.

On Thursday, Bill Belichick said the situation was similar to June's mandatory minicamp when Waters had been "excused for personal reasons."

That was the first indication that the club wasn't fining Waters, who is under contract for a base salary of $1.4 million, for his training-camp absence.

Then, on Saturday, director of player personnel Nick Caserio was asked about the topic. Caserio wasn't interested in going into details, not even addressing whether fining Waters was an option, but here's the Q&A for your pleasure:

Any update on Waters?
"I don't have any updates. At this point, really no change from where we were the other day, what Bill mentioned."

On Waters, can you fine him for him not reporting?
"I think any decision that we make on a player, we'll keep that internal."

Not asking you if you are fining, but can you fine him?
"I think every team has certain rules in place that are in compliance with what's been approved by the league, so we follow the letter of law with that regard and we'll handle everything internally."

Would a reporter be accurate to say that if he's under contract, and he's not here, that he can be fined?
"There are multiple interpretations. I'm not going to get into the exact details of it, but our stance and where we are hasn't changed from where we were the other day."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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