Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins has been reportedly issued a letter from the New England Patriots indicating that if he does not sign his restricted free agent tender before June 15, he could have his salary reduced. Mankins’ RFA tender calls for him to make $3.268 million this season but if he does not sign the tender by the deadline, the team could exercise its right to reduce it to 110% of his 2009 salary, which would bring it down to $1.54 million. Letters like this are not uncommon, and Denver’s Elvis Dumervil and the Chargers’ Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill have also been issued similar letters. However, letters like these are not exactly goodwill offerings. This could sour future negotiations between the two parties. The Patriots have always indicated that they will use the tools available to them, just as players would do the same. This letter is another tool a team can use to force a player’s hand to sign his RFA. If Mankins does sign, he will have to show up for the mandatory mini-camp on June 15 or he could be fined by the team. I think it’s safe to assume that Mankins will sign his tender and appear at mini-camp. He has made his point that he is unhappy that he has yet to be signed to a new long-term deal. Logan Mankins is the team’s best player on the offensive line. Let’s hope the two sides can reach an agreement before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year.