The first checkpoint for the Patriots' three restricted free agents has come and gone.
As yesterday passed, exclusive negotiating rights for G Logan Mankins, OLB Pierre Woods and K Stephen Gostkowski reverted to the club. That means, basically, that those guys can't sign offer sheets with other teams or, for that matter, even conduct any kind of talks, without permission. These players can still switch teams via trade.
Woods and Gostkowski have both signed injury-protection deals and have been part of the team's offseason program, while Mankins has chosen to stay away until his contract situation is addressed.
I can tell you that Woods has not yet signed his tender and since he's out of town right now, he won't be signing it in the next few days, though there's really nothing contentious to all that. Mankins and Gostkowski, too, remain unsigned, to the best of my knowledge.
Seems like Woods's and Gostkowski's situations will be worked out, while there's still a ways to go with Mankins.
As we mentioned earlier this week, the next big date on the calendar for Mankins is June 15, when teams can cut their tender offers to RFA to 110 percent of the player's 2009 salary.