“Logan Mankins is one of the best players on the team,” Kraft said. “I just personally want to say, I hope he’s with us for a long term, and we’re going to try to do whatever we have to do to make sure that happens.”
Kraft would not say whether the team would indeed franchise Mankins or whether there have been recent discussions between Mankins’s agent, Frank Bauer, and the Patriots on a long-term contract.
There is another issue to consider: While the NFL believes it is within its rights to franchise players for the 2011 season even if the collective bargaining agreement expires, the Players’ Association disagrees and says the tags are meaningless without a new CBA.
The NFLPA has threatened legal action on behalf of tagged players.