Patriots Sign Mankins to 6-Year Deal

The Patriots selected guard Logan Mankins with the 32nd pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. At the time, the move was questioned mostly because not many people had heard of Mankins. But that's why Bill Belichick has three Super Bowl rings and the rest of us don't.

Mankins quickly became one of New England's best offensive linemen and it wasn't long until he was one of the NFL's best guards. But his tenure in New England wasn't all unicorns and rainbows. Mankins missed much of the 2010 season because he was hoping for a long-term deal. Instead, he eventually reported and the team put the franchise tag on him in February.

Now, six months, a lockout and a lawsuit later, Mankins finally gets his new contract: the Pats announced Wednesday that they have signed him to a six-year deal.

Details via the Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young:

The contract makes complete sense for all parties. Mankins gets the security he had sought and the team keeps perhaps the best guard in the NFL for the foreseeable future and gets some salary cap relief.

Mankins’s franchise tag number was $10,116,000, all of which counted toward the 2011 cap. Though the financials weren’t released, the Patriots will very likely be able to shave some of that money off this year’s books.

Mankins wasn't the only Patriots player to have his contract reworked. Two of the team's newest additions, WR Chad Ochocinco and DL Albert Haynesworth, took pay cuts. Ochocinco's salary has been reduced from $6 million to $1 million (with the possibility of more based on incentives), and Haynesworth's now taking home $1.5 million after being slated to make $5.4 million (incentives could push his salary up to $5.85 million, however, according to Yahoo! Sports).

If nothing else, it shows that veteran players are willing to trade compensation for a chance at a championship.

As for Mankins, he'll remain with the team that drafted him, even though that prospect looked bleak as recently as a few weeks ago. The two sides somehow found common ground, and just before the deal was announced Patriots owner Bob Kraft hinted at what was to come.

“Probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon, hopefully to be a Patriot for life,’’ he said in a Wednesday press conference. “It is our desire and it has always been our desire. We think that Logan is among the best there is at his position and we drafted him and we want him here.’’

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