- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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It seems unlikely at this point that veteran guard Brian Waters will suit up for the Patriots ever again.
After inking a two-year free agent deal before the start of the 2011 season, Waters became a fixture on the offensive line throughout the Patriots' run to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVI.
That was the last we saw of Waters, who didn't attend any offseason team activities in 2012, and failed to report for training camp. The team remained coy on his status throughout training camp, though Waters never showed up, and his number was later redistributed to linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
After sitting out the 2012 season, which would have been the final year of his contract, Waters did not become a free agent. That's because his contract tolled as a result of failing to report, meaning he remains under the Patriots control leading into the 2013 league year.
The team has the option to either trade or release Waters, or continue to stand pat like it did last season. It would seem unlikely they would grant him his release if his desire is to sign with another team. A trade would seem more viable.
The bottom line is, unless Waters chooses to officially retire, his status is controlled by the Patriots for now.