Thursday, August 11, 2011
Logan Mankins Signs 6-Year Deal, Becoming A Patriot 4 Life
After multiple seasons of back and forth bickering, the Patriots and Logan Mankins have agreed to a six-year contract extension, keeping the 29-year old Pro Bowl guard in New England for the balance of his career.
Mankins was a first-round pick in 2005 and has been one of the best linemen in the NFL since arriving in the league.
Like most Patriots players in their first contract, Mankins played until the end of his deal and rather than allowing him to test free agency, the Patriots franchised him last offseason. That sparked a contract dispute that usually is reserved for teams like the Redskins and Raiders.
Mankins held out of camp last season and called the Patriots liars for not letting him test the market. The Patriots allegedly tried to make Mankins issue a public apology. Mankins lawyer called the negotiations a travesty. This was getting ugly.
Mankins then sat out the first six weeks of the 2010 season before coming back and dominating. Although playing in a shortened season, Mankins made the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro honors last season.
Mankins was one of the many players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL near the beginning of the lockout and was one of the few individual players who could have held up negotiations as both sides came closer to reaching an agreement.
Once the lockout was ended, Mankins signed his franchise tender and ensured that he would be a Patriot for at least the 2011 season.
It all changed yesterday.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke with the media yesterday for the first time since the passing of his wife Myra, saying that they were close to a deal with Mankins, saying "Probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon, hopefully to be a Patriot for life."
Later in the afternoon it was announced that Mankins would indeed be a Patriot for life, signing the six-year deal that will keep him as the anchor of the Patriots' offensive line.
First and foremost this was the right thing to do from the Patriots standpoint. They have a reputation for being notoriously stingy with their players near the end of their first contracts, namely Deion Branch, Asante Samuel, and most recently Vince Wilfork. With each passing year, the Patriots looked more and more like a team that "didn't take care of their own" as some put it.
Recently, the Patriots have started to move away from that philosophy, locking up Mankins, Wilfork and Brady to long term deals. It remains to be seen what they will do with guys like Mayo, McCourty and Spikes though. Will they extend their contracts before the final year of their deals or will they continue down this path of having guys play out their first contracts?
Whatever the case may be, they are lucky that they have guys like Mankins, who has a good head on his shoulders and plays the game at a high level regardless of his contract situation. Now that they've buried the hatchet, Mankins will be playing his ass off for years to come.