Tucker: Communication Problem at Heart of Mankins/Pats Squabble

Logan Mankins at the Pro Bowl. Source: Yardbarker

The fact that G Logan Mankins has been a holdout all training camp and into the preseason is not news. Mankins made headlines earlier in the offseason when he demanded a trade and called out the front office, basically calling them liars. He feels that the team did not keep their word in addressing his contract and “taking care of him” during the offseason. However, it has been widely reported that Mankins was offered a contract that would put him in the top 5  for salary among other guards. Therefore, it makes Mankins’ charge that the team did not address his contract like they said they would look unfounded. Now, in a rare situation, most fans have taken the team’s side in this dispute and while they’d love to have Logan Mankins on the field, they feel that he is being greedy and was wrong to call out the team when it did indeed make a substantial offer.

SI.com’s Ross Tucker writes about the situation and feels that the player and the agent are to blame in this situation, and that there was a communication breakdown that has led to the current stand-off.

What we have here is a failure to communicate,” Tucker starts. “…The definition and the details surrounding ‘being taken care of’ or ‘having the contract addressed’ are far too ambiguous. When a player hears phrases like that they have a tendency to get certain numbers and benchmarks in their head. That’s why at least some of the blame, if not all of it, rests with the player and his agent. Unless the Patriots told Mankins or his agent that they would make Mankins the ‘highest paid guard in the league’ or give him a contract ‘worth $9 million a year over six years with $25 million guaranteed,’ the problem here lies in the details.”

Tucker hits the nail right on the head with this one. Somewhere along the line, Mankins and his agent, Frank Bauer, had a figure in their minds when they heard, “taken care of.” The Patriots, obviously, had another. The situation can be resolved, but it’s got to start with communication between the player and the team. Mankins has some fence-mending to do after calling the team out, and perhaps the Patriots do as well if there’s been anything else behind the scenes that we’re unaware of. But nothing will happen if the two parties don’t communicate, and there certainly seems to be none of that going on.
However, if Logan Mankins is getting greedy and wants to command over $7 million per season, then we can forget about seeing him in a Patriots uniform. First off, he’s a guard. Second, despite the fact that depth on the line is a concern, Dan Connolly has stepped in and done a good job so far, making Mankins more expendable. The further this drags out, the less leverage and position he loses in negotiations. Then again, he may simply just want out and there absolutely will be no negotiating. As the preseason comes to a close, there should be some movement, one way or another, on this situation. The hope is that Logan and the Patriots will find a resolution and he will re-join the team, protecting Brady and powering the new-found running game. Time will tell.

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