The Patriots officially placed the franchise tag on guard Logan Mankins on Monday, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports. Mankins, whose contract is set to expire, will be paid a projected salary of $10.1 million if he signs the franchise tender, according to Schefter. That one-year salary would be guaranteed.
If the Patriots applied the non-exclusive version of the tag to Mankins, then he will be able to negotiate with other teams when the free agency period opens, pending labor negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. Under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, any team signing Mankins will be required to compensate the Patriots with two first round draft selections.
Mankins may only be traded to another team if he first agrees to sign the franchise tender, and any trade likely will not be allowed until the league labor dispute is resolved.
The six-year veteran was a restricted free agent in 2010, and did not elect to sign his tender offer until Nov. 2, sitting out the team's first seven games of the season.
This marks the fourth time in the past five offseasons in which the Patriots have used their franchise tag.
In 2007, cornerback Asante Samuel did not sign his franchise tender until the end of the preseason, and left via free agency the next offseason. In 2009, the Patriots used the tag on quarterback Matt Cassel, who was subsequently traded to the Chiefs.
Last season, the Patriots applied the franchise tag to defensive lineman Vince Wilfork before reaching a long-term contract.