Earlier today, Patriots CEO Robert Kraft spoke with reporters about several topics, one of which was guard Logan Mankins and his long-term future with the team. Kraft spoke about keeping the “core” together, guys like Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, and Stephen Gostkowski. He also mentioned that he hoped Logan Mankins would be able to get locked up long-term. Here’s what he said on Mankins:
”I hope that us locking up our core veterans and bringing in these seasoned veterans, and probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon — hopefully to be a Patriot for life — that couldn’t have happened if we didn’t do our planning for when we went into the lockout.”
That “soon” came a lot sooner than anyone anticipated.
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported, and the Boston Herald confirmed, that the Patriots reached a six-year deal with their Pro-Bowl, All-Pro guard. Mankins will likely be a “Patriot for life” as Robert Kraft hoped, and he helps to solidify the Patriots’ offensive line for the foreseeable future. An added benefit to getting this deal done is that the Patriots can free up some cap space by spreading out the money Mankins was originally due.
Recall that Logan was franchised for about $10 million, which was a full $10 million hit against the cap. They can now spread that out over the six years, Mankins gets long-term security, and everybody is happy. This, folks, is how the franchise tag is supposed to work. Identify a core player and extend the amount of time you have to negotiate with that player. In the meantime, for keeping that player out of free agency, he gets a pretty hefty one-year pay until that deal is reached. Win-win.