Report: Patriots players pissed about Logan Mankins trade

Logan-Mankins-Torn-ACL-Super-BowlThe New England Patriots’ decision to trade All-Pro offensive guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday came as a shock to most, even his former teammates. Players are well aware that the NFL is a business, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to disappointment.

On the surface, most of the Patriots players said all the right things. Julian Edelman said he trusts Bill Belichick to do what’s best for the team. Devin McCourty said the team simply has to “move on.” But according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, there was no mistaking the mood in the locker room.

But to say that Mankins’s teammates were shocked Tuesday is an understatement of Belichickian proportion. They openly discussed in the locker room how surprised they were by the move, and Darrelle Revis acknowledged that “the atmosphere was a little down” at practice.

A league source connected to several Patriots players used a “p” word that rhymes with “missed” to describe the mood in the locker room Tuesday. Many players still felt that Mankins was the best lineman on the team, the source said.

There’s a difference between being “pissed” and being disappointed. Disappointment would mean the players are sad to lose a team leader, great player and good friend. The fact that Volin says they were pissed would seem to indicate not everyone feels Belichick made the right decision.

Mankins was reportedly traded because he refused to take a pay cut. The Patriots have never been afraid to make an unpopular decision if it helps their financial situation, and there’s a good chance they are looking to free up a large chunk of salary cap space to sign Darrelle Revis to a long-term contract.

Could they have waited until after the season? For financial reasons, yes. But Belichick must have some young linemen he is confident in that he wants to start developing now. Either that, or he loves the attention he gets for being an evil genius. The Patriots fan in me leans toward the latter.

Logan Mankins traded after refusing to take pay cut

Logan MankinsLogan Mankins was traded by the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick.

Considering the season is so close to starting and the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders, many have wondered what motivated them to deal the six-time Pro Bowler. Apparently it was a money issue.

NFL reporter Jason Cole says Mankins refused to take a pay cut from the $6.25 million he was set to earn this season. Cole says the Pats first approached Mankins about taking a pay cut after the Pro Bowl and then again before they ultimately traded him.

The trade may weaken the Patriots up front in the immediate future, though they believe they have enough interior linemen to shuffle things and be fine. Plus they’re getting a promising tight end — Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie last season — a fourth-round pick, and some cap relief, which Del surmised could be used to sign Darrelle Revis long term. You know how much they love to run double tight end sets, so maybe they figure they’ll be able to do that with Wright and Rob Gronkowski.

Mankins is due $6.75 million each of the next two seasons after signing a 6-year, $51 million deal prior to the 2011 season.

Patriots reportedly trade Logan Mankins to Bucs for Tim Wright

Logan-Mankins-Torn-ACL-Super-BowlThe New England Patriots have reportedly agreed to trade six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a draft pick. The news was first reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

While we will likely never know Bill Belichick’s motivation for trading his most reliable offensive lineman just weeks before the start of the regular season, there could be a number of factors at play that sparked the deal. For starters, the Patriots acquired a pass-catching tight end in Wright. You have to wonder if New England considers that insurance for the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski.

Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2013. Gronkowski has seemed optimistic that he will be able to return in Week 1, but reports have indicated that there is about a 50% chance he won’t be ready. And even if he is, there’s no reason to believe he can remain healthy for a 16-game season.

There is also the possibility that Belichick sees Mankins, a 32-year-old veteran who has been a captain since 2011, as a player who is on the decline. Mankins allowed 11 sacks last season, which was second most in the NFL. He is more known for his run blocking than pass protection. Perhaps Belichick saw an opportunity to sell high based on Mankins’ past performance and jumped on it.

Another theory is that the Patriots are already looking to clear cap space to sign Darrelle Revis to a long-term contract extension. Mankins was set to make a $6.25 million base salary this season and $6.75 million per year in 2015 and 2016, plus bonuses. With Revis basically playing under a one-year deal and expected to command top dollar, something had to give.

This is the same Bill Belichick who cut Lawyer Milloy in training camp the year after winning a Super Bowl and traded Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders in his prime. No one should be surprised.

Logan Mankins on Rob Gronkowski: ‘He’s a big meathead that likes to party’

There has been a growing concern among New England Patriots fans and NFL commentators that Rob Gronkowski is getting carried away with his passion for raging.

Another offseason has begun with one of Gronk’s limbs in a cast. Like his injured ankle last year, Gronkowski’s surgically-repaired forearm doesn’t appear to be slowing him down when it comes to partying shirtless and wrestling with his brother in Las Vegas.

Some view Gronk’s antics as childish. Others, like Patriots guard Logan Mankins, feel they are pretty harmless.

“As long as he’s not getting DUIs and doing things that are against the law…” Mankins said Tuesday according to ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss. “I don’t think he’s hurting anyone. Hopefully he doesn’t hurt his arm. Then that would be bad. Gronk is a big meathead that likes to party and play football.”

Considering he already broke his arm twice, it’s the arm that most Patriots fans are concerned about. I’m sure the team shares some of their concerns. In terms of staying out of trouble with the law, Mankins is right. Gronkowski is 23 years old. He has been criticized by people like this former Patriots linebacker for being irresponsible, but we like to think of him more as a person who cherishes his youth. As long as he’s working out on the side and doing what he needs to be doing to prepare for 2013, Gronk should be allowed to enjoy himself during his free time.

Photo credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Logan Mankins played with a torn ACL in the Super Bowl

If Patriots fans are looking for an excuse as to why the Giants’ pass rush was able to dominate New England’s offensive line in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, Logan Mankins has provided them with a decent one. Before you rip me apart for being a Giants hater, I’m not saying it is an excuse and the Patriots would have won otherwise, but it certainly didn’t help. According to ESPNBoston.com, Mankins recently underwent surgery to repair the torn ACL that he played on during the Super Bowl.

It is likely that Mankins suffered the injury during a Dec. 24 win over the Dolphins. At the time, it was believed to be a sprained MCL and concern started to build about Mankins’ availability for the playoffs. Either a later hit caused more damage to the knee, or Mankins had actually suffered a small tear in his ACL. Had his ACL been fully torn, Logan would not have been able to play.

New York’s pass rush dominates New England’s line every time the two teams meet, so we’ll never know if a healthy Mankins could have changed the outcome of the game. As is the case with any Super Bowl match-up, both teams were dealing with a number of injuries heading into the game. However, the revelation does say a lot about Mankins’ toughness. He had to have been playing through a great deal of pain, and it’s amazing that he was able to be effective despite the injury. That toughness is one of the many reasons the Patriots gave Mankins a huge payday last season that will keep him with the team for years to come.

Logan Mankins drew a mustache on his helmet during the playoffs (Picture)

Like many other teams that are caught up in a playoff run, this year’s Patriots were big on facial hair. Wes Welker was all about his mustache and showcased it regularly on Twitter during the postseason. Logan Mankins continued his normal routine, which involves rocking a badass Fu Manchu. Apparently he thought the Patriots logo on his helmet could use one as well. Check out these pictures that @BushwoodFantasy shared:

Unfortunately for Mankins, the luck ran out in the AFC Championship game. Maybe it was the helmet mustache that made Billy Cundiff shank a chip shot, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Eli Manning and the Giants.

H/T Rap Sheet

Holdouts Will Play This Season

Or at least, they should play this season.  Word is starting to circle that the New York Jets are close to a deal with Darrelle Revis, which was first reported via a Tweet from Tim Cowlishaw that I was fully ready to call b.s. on, so touche and good for you, Tim — unless you still turn out to be wrong.

The Jets have also agreed to a monstrous deal with center Nick Mangold (7 years, $55 million), so as of now it’s fair to say their front office is taking care of business.  The Mangold deal has huge implications in strengthening the position of another player who is currently holding out, the Patriots’ Logan Mankins.  According to an ESPN Boston report, Mankins is so put off by the way negotiations have gone that he is prepared to sit out the entire upcoming season.  As Mike Reiss points out, the current collective bargaining agreement requires a player to report by week 10 of the season in order for that year to count toward their free agent status, meaning if Mankins sat out the entire year the Patriots could go through the same fiasco with him again next season if that part of the CBA doesn’t change.

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