Through his nine-year NFL career that has seen him named to six Pro Bowls, Logan Mankins has never been one to be shy about saying what’s on his mind.
The staple of the Patriots’ offensive line for the past decade became a former Pat on Tuesday, as he was sent to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a 2015 draft pick.
The trade solves what was looming to be a major issue next offseason, as Mankins’ salary cap hit would have been $21.5 million over the next two years, a number the Pats would have undoubtedly asked Mankins to reconfigure.
And considering what happened the last time the Pats and Mankins ran into a contract dispute, things would have probably turned ugly.
Back in 2010, an argument between the team and Mankins, a restricted free agent, came out with the guard asking to be traded from the team, telling ESPN Boston at the time “I’m pretty frustrated, from everything that’s happened and the way negotiations have gone…I want to be traded. I don’t need to be here anymore.’’
Mankins claimed that the team did not offer him an extension after the 2008 season due to an upcoming labor dispute and instead said they would come back to working out a deal during the uncapped offseason following 2009.
“I’m a team player, I took them at their word, and I felt I played out an undervalued contract,” he said in 2010. “Right now, this is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people. This is what I thought the foundation of the Patriots was built on.
“Apparently, I was wrong. Growing up, I was taught a man’s word is his bond. Obviously this isn’t the case with the Patriots.”
The two sides eventually came to an agreement and Mankins signed a six-year, $51 million deal, on Nov. 2 after missing all of training camp, preseason, and the first eight weeks of the 2010 season. Mankins ended up playing nine games that year and was named to his third Pro Bowl.
So the Logan Mankins era in New England is over, and the team must now find another answer to who will protect Tom Brady as he seeks that elusive fourth Super Bowl ring.
But now, there won’t be a potentially ugly cloud waiting for the Patriots once their 2013 campaign comes to a close.