Analysis: Mankins' decision pragmatic

July, 26, 2011
7/26/11
2:28
PM ET
With news coming today that Patriots guard Logan Mankins will sign his franchise tender and report to training camp on time, the decision by Mankins appears to be one made with practical considerations in mind.

The one-year franchise tender will pay Mankins a guaranteed salary of about $10.1 million. The seventh-year veteran could have chosen to not sign the tender, not report to camp on time, and press the team for a long-term contract.

Instead, by signing the tender, Mankins will collect the average of the top five salaries at his position this season, and then put himself in line either for a contract extension with the Patriots or unrestricted free agency next spring.

Last season, Mankins did not sign his restricted free agent tender of $3.26 million, allowing the team to cut his tender to $1.54 million, the prorated portion of which Mankins collected after reporting for the final nine games of the season. But in this case, $10.1 million was likely too much for Mankins to pass up.

Last summer was a contentious time for Mankins and Patriots management as they attempted to negotiate a long-term contract with the three-time Pro Bowl selection. Talks reportedly broke down after Mankins was asked to publicly apologize to Patriots owner Robert Kraft after Mankins claimed that Kraft had broken promises regarding the contract.

While this decision settles the uncertainty of the situation for the time being, another deadline will approach on Sept. 20, the last day teams are able to reach long-term contract agreements with their franchise players.

Despite today's news, it is unclear at this point if fences have been mended between Mankins and the Patriots to the point of the sides being able to drop past grudges and come to terms on a long-term deal by that deadline.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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