Throughout the hubbub of this early portion of the off-season, the Patriots have gotten a lot done. Wilfork, Bodden, Banta-Cain, Faulk and Neal are all back on the team. A name that's often swept under the rug is Logan Mankins. According to the Boston Globe, Mankins is staying at his house in California during the off-season until there has been some progress made in regards to his new contract.
Mankins was offered the one-year, $3.268 million deal that's accorded to the high tender in the RFA system. Since Mankins hasn't signed the tender, and isn't under contract, he's under no obligation to show up for any of the team's offseason activities, voluntary or mandatory.
Mankins is one of the best Left Guards in the business and he showed it last year, despite the musical chairs that took place at the Left Tackle position. Mankins is young, entering his prime and he's always done a great job. There's no reason for him to be left hanging without a long term contract. He deserves to make top dollar as one of the top guards in the game.
Of course, if we don't manage to sign him, the Patriots are allowed to keep Mankins at a discount.
Mankins is free to negotiate with other teams until seven days before the draft, after which exclusive negotiating rights would revert to the Patriots. If Mankins doesn't sign by June 15, the team can reduce his tender to 110 percent of his 2009 salary, which computes to $1.54 million.
I doubt that negotiations will come to this point, though. My thought is that the Patriots are, unsuccessfully, dangling Mankins in hopes that someone will jump and sign him. Then, we can use the 1st round pick we gained on Mike Iupati and the 3rd on wherever we want. However, I don't see that happening. I don't see Mankins getting away. I don't see him signing a $1.54 million contract. I don't see him leaving with a 1 year deal, either.
Mankins will either be a Patriot for years to come or the Patriots will find a way to deal him.
I'm hoping for the former.
PS: On the topic of not signing players, what's the deal with Stephen Gostkowski? Why can't we just sign him too?