Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Monday, March 21, 2011
Club wants Mankins to be Patriot for life

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins hasn't hidden his disdain for how the front office has treated him.

Mankins demanded a trade last year, refused to report to the team until November, reportedly refused to apologize publicly to owner Robert Kraft and was aggravated by the club's decision to place the franchise tag on him, preventing the All-Pro from unrestricted free agency.

Mankins, unlike the other two AFC East players to receive franchise tags (New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris and Miami Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai), didn't sign his before the NFL work stoppage.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft addressed Mankins' status to a group of reporters Monday afternoon at the NFL owners meeting in New Orleans.

In particular, Jonathan Kraft spoke about a report head coach Bill Belichick and the football operations department were at odds with the business administration over the proper way to handle Mankins' contract. Jonathan Kraft seemed to blame Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer.

"I think sometimes agents feel it's their job to throw out rhetoric to get things moving when they can't get things moving in the traditional way," Jonathan Kraft said. "The bottom line is I don't recall any situation since Bill has been our head coach where there has been a divide. We sit down in a room and we discuss things that are big things, and we have a unified front. That's the case in this situation too.

"I think the agent, in this case, feels rhetoric helps to get deals done. We feel like we put a very fair offer on the table. We would like Logan to be a Patriot, retire a Patriot. He's a great football player. But we're not allowed to talk to Logan or his agent until [the labor situation] gets resolved."