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The unique and often-persevered dysfunctional relationship between the Patriots and offensive guard Logan Mankins will turn a new chapter in 2011.
According to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald, the Patriots plan to “definitely tag” the 3-time Pro Bowler. Mankins, 28, has established himself as the Patriots’ best offensive lineman, but it’s the off-the-field issues that have seemingly spoiled this relationship.
Coming into the NFL as an unknown commodity, Mankins carried a chip on his shoulder. In 2005, the Catheys Valley, Calif. native, started every game as a rookie and was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team. Since then, Mankins has been a mainstay at left guard, starting every game he has played in throughout his five-year career. Before long, Mankins exemplified what it was to be a New England Patriot. He was hard-working, blue-collar and always put the team ahead of any personal accolades. With the success, Mankins was dubbed one of the best guards in the NFL.
Heading into the 2009 season, Mankins remained quiet, but murmurs surfaced that he was looking for a new contract. In a later story by Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, Mankins spoke about his contract situation.
“I was asked to play ’09 out, and that they would address the contract during the uncapped year. I’m a team player, I took them at their word, and I felt I played out an undervalued contract.” Mankins said.
The lid finally exploded following the 2009 season. The Patriots signed Mankins to the highest tender they could give a restricted free agent at $3.26 million. Any other team could have offered Mankins a better contract and received his services in exchange for a first and third round draft choice. Disgruntled about the contract, Mankins chose to hold out until Nov. 6, 2010.
When he came back from the holdout, Mankins started the final nine games and made the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Now, instead of offering Mankins the long contract that he has sought out for two seasons, the Patriots are looking to place the franchise tag label on him. Something that Mankins has said in the past that he is not thrilled about.
Stay tuned folks.