I've expressed that I want Pro Bowl Guard Logan Mankins under long term contract. So have the Krafts. So have his teammates. So what's the hold-up? Probably Mankins himself. I've supported Mankins this off-season because I believe that he deserves to get paid. He's one of the top five players at his position and should be paid like one. Unfortunately, Mankins is unhappy with top 5 money and that's where my support for him ends.
While Mankins has been throwing his temper tantrum because he was only offered the triple scoop and not the waffle cone, another player has gone through the same process that Mankins has- and now has a plump new contract. OLB Elvis Dumervil of the Denver Broncos was in the same exact position as Mankins. He was an RFA who was tendered. He was offered the same contract tender value as Mankins (ie: Far below his actual worth).
The difference? Dumervil watched his teammates get shipped away (WR Brandon Marshall and TE Tony Scheffler). He's watched his teammates not receive long term deals and he saw other players brought into the franchise to compete (QB Kyle Orton). Dumervil had no reason to keep his mouth shut and cooperate. But he did.
Actually, he didn't keep his mouth shut. This is what he was saying,
""I feel both parties want to get something done. It’s a work in progress. At the end of the day I’m happy to be a Bronco and I’m happy to be out here with new teammates and get back to playing football."
I'm pretty sure soon after the article was released, McDaniels and Dumervil were spotted pushing each other on swings at a nearby park. Gag.
Keep in mind that this is around the time that a Dumervil contract was no where in sight. And Dumervil went beyond words- he used his actions to show how important he is to the team. He showed up at mandatory minicamps without a contract. That's some commitment. And in camps where contact isn't allowed, there's especially no reason for a lineman not to show up...Mankins.
Read my message to Mankins after the jump.
See (now this is directed at Mankins), you're not irreplaceable. You're an elite left guard who gives the offensive line a little bite, but you're still not untouchable. You know who is untouchable? Vince Wilfork. He makes the defense function. Tom Brady. He makes the offense function. You? You're an interior lineman who is great at pulling for screens. You open up a few doors on offense, but by no means do you have a master key.
I'm sure a player like Nick Kaczur could come in and pull for screens almost as well. He'll be able to block almost as well. He won't be you, but he'll pass and he'll do a good enough job that no one will miss you. You weren't viewed as the best guard in either 2008 or 2009, so top 5 money is more than reasonable.
Now you're a great guy. Your teammates love you. You definitely bring some usefulness to the table. Just keep in mind that the franchise values respect. Wilfork was firm on his beliefs, but still received a long term deal. Adalius Thomas was kicked out. Look at the difference between how Belichick treats Josh McDaniels versus Eric Mangini. One left with respect, the other with his tail between his legs. This Patriots team runs on respect and you need to start showing it.
I don't think you realize that the team holds all the cards. What's your leverage? That you're a top 5 left guard, alright. Cool. So you're durable and haven't missed a game your entire career. Nice. What else? Do you bring that leadership that Dan Koppen has? It appears not. Do you have that Super Bowl ring that grandfathers you into new contracts? Oh wait, the Patriots don't do that unless you're a heart and soul player, like Kevin Faulk.
You're sitting as a top 5 guard with durability. You were offered top 5 money with a long term deal, which fits the player you are. So what's the problem?
Look, the Patriots take care of the players who deserve to be taken care of. I guarantee that if you sign a one year deal, for the money the Patriots were willing to offer, the team would be more willing to give you a long term deal of greater value. The team has other things to worry about. You remember how I was talking about those irreplaceable players? Something Brady? Well, he's looking at a contract too. With the way you're acting, he might be looking at a long term contract before you are.
You see, with next year in limbo, no one wants to hand out long term deals. Teams only want to give out money to players they know are the heart of their franchise. That means no money to malcontents. That means the players who get paid are the ones who say the right things, the ones who do the right things. You're doing neither.
So why don't you take a leaf out of Dumervil's book? Sign a short term deal and make it to camp. Show that you're committed to the franchise and that you want to help this team back to the top. It'll be worth it for both the team and your wallet.
And maybe, just maybe, at the end of camp, Belichick will take you out for a nice waffle cone.