In a move that was expected by most, the Patriots placed the franchise tag on guard Logan Mankins, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter. There hasn’t been any word out of the Mankins camp yet but he is likely not in a good mood. Mankins mentioned at the Pro Bowl that he would not be happy if the Pats franchised him. Whether the franchise tag sticks or not is debatable with no new CBA in place, and the NFL Players Union has said that they will fight any tags used by teams without a CBA in place. Mankins can still negotiate a long-term deal with the Pats if he chooses, but whether he wants to return to the team or not remains to be seen. However, his franchise salary is nothing to shake a stick at.
If Mankins were to sign the tender from the franchise tag, he would be guaranteed $10.1 million. That’s more than he likely would have made in a single year had he signed a long-term contract. The downside is that there are no long-term guarantees, so if he gets hurt he’s up the creek without a paddle. Well, maybe not. I think he could afford not only a paddle, but a whole motor boat with $10.1 million. Saints guard Jahri Evans, the league’s highest-paid guard, will make $26 million the first three years of the new deal he signed last year, so Mankins technically will make more in a year than Evans if you divide $26 million by 3 (though I know that’s not quite how it works).
ESPN analyst and former Patriot Tedy Bruschi said the move to franchise Mankins was smart from an organizational standpoint, as they get to hang on to their most talented lineman or get something of value in return via trade. You can read his comments and watch a video clip by clicking here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If it works out like last year, when Vince Wilfork was tagged, the tag will simply extend the time the Pats have to negotiate a new deal. Or, we could have seen the last of Logan Mankins in a Patriots uniform.