Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Reiss on Mankins, Light and more
Patriots reporter Mike Reiss was on ESPNBoston.com Radio with Adam Jones on Tuesday afternoon (listen to the full interview HERE) to discuss what kind of compensation Logan Mankins might be seeking as a key plaintiff in the players’ antitrust suit against the NFL, one of the biggest remaining hurdles to a new labor deal.
Yahoo! Sports reported earlier Tuesday that both Mankins and Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson had demanded either immediate free agency or $10 million as compensation for being plaintiffs, but a source later told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that while Jackson’s demand was correct, the NFL had yet to hear from Mankins -- whom the Patriots placed the franchise tag on before the lockout -- on what he’d be seeking.
So is Mankins the type of person who would hold up the NFL labor deal to ensure he gets what he wants?
“I think he’s the type of person who understands leverage and business, from having contract issues with the Patriots the last couple of years,” Reiss told Jones during he interview. “I think he’ll use his leverage to make a point, to possibly get something out of this.
“But do I think he would hold up 1,900 other players just to benefit himself? I don’t think he would do that. That’s my opinion from being around Logan Mankins over the last six years.”
If not immediate free agency, what kind of compensation should we expect Mankins to get?
“We heard we’re at the 25th mile of a marathon. We’re coming up to the final details and now some people are going to make some demands and see what sticks,” Reiss explained. “But I look at the end result, what’s going to happen here? I think we’re going to have a settlement. Why not ask for the moon if you’re some of these guys, like Logan Mankins or Vincent Jackson, figuring you’re probably not going to get it but you’ll get something else.
“I think in the end [Mankins is] going to come away with something. I look at it from a Patriots perspective: What is that something going to be and how is it going to affect the Patriots this season? If I had to guess, I don’t think it’s going to affect the Patriots this season. I think whatever Mankins gets it’ll probably be pushed forward to 2012.
“I like what Chris Mortensen had reported a couple of days ago, the most likely scenario: Maybe no franchise tag a second time around in 2012 for all of these plaintiffs.
Other topics Reiss touched on during the 12-minute interview:
* Could the Patriots and Mankins possibly strike a long-term deal?
“I can’t imagine the sides getting together at this point based on everywhere they’ve been.”
* What’s the likelihood the Patriots look at retaining their own free agents?
“I’d start with Matt Light. That’s one of the fascinating questions going forward with this team. You haven’t had an offseason with your rookies, so how much can you really expect from these draft picks. Your first-round pick Nate Solder, can you really throw him out there on Day 1 as the starting left tackle protecting Tom Brady? To me, the answer is no, he’s going to need more time.
“That leads to the importance of bringing back a Matt Light. But then the issue is, you’re probably only looking at a one-year deal because if you’re Matt Light, you know the future is Nate Solder. Is that good enough? I think that’s going to be contingent on another team, whether they step up and offer more for Matt Light.”
* Will the Patriots be active on the unrestricted free-agent market?
“I don’t expect the Patriots to really be going full bore on the unrestricted market.”
You can listen to ESPN Boston Radio with Adam Jones each afternoon, Monday-Friday, from noon-2 p.m. ET and again from 2-4 p.m.