FOXBOROUGH — Patriots coach Bill Belichick issued a statement on the trade of guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made - and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make - but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team."
The Patriots will get tight end Tim Wright and a 2015 fourth round draft pick in exchange for Mankins.