Mankins touches base with Pats pick Solder


Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins might be at odds with the team on a contract extension, but that hasn't stopped him from lending a helping hand to rookies. Mankins said he has spoken with first-round pick Nate Solder, the big offensive tackle from Colorado. The Patriots gave Solder the number to reach Mankins, who was happy to take the call. "He seems like a great guy and I gave him a little advice and tried to help him out the best I can in the situation that we're in right now," Mankins said Monday at the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Golf Tournament at TPC-Boston. "I'm more than willing to help any young guy that needs anything. He's in a tough situation right now, he doesn't know what's going on. He has no coaches to talk to. He's just trying to make it in this league and if I can help him, I will." Mankins is also pulling for fifth-round pick Marcus Cannon. "I read the story of how he has cancer so hopefully everything works out great for him," he said. "That would be a great story if he has a full recovery and can play and have a nice career." As for his contract situation, Mankins was asked if it was naive to think he could reach a long-term deal with the Patriots at this point. "I don't know, we'll see. Shoot, the NFL and the players can't agree on anything right now, so we'll worry about that once they can strike a deal," he said. Mankins was asked if he has thought about whether he'll sign the franchise tender -- which would be a one-year deal for around $10 million -- once there is football. "A little bit, but I'm not going to say anything right now," he answered. "When we know there is football, that will be the time to make a decision."