At his introductory press conference with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former Patriots All-Pro guard Logan Mankins revealed that he and the Pats did indeed discuss the parameters of a new, renegotiated contract prior to his being dealt on Tuesday afternoon, but that in the end, the two sides "couldn't come to a common ground."
Speaking publicly for the first time since the trade, Mankins, wearing a Bucs baseball cap, surprised no one in taking the high road when it came to discussing the Pats, offering only positives both toward his former teammates and the only organization he's played for in his 10-year career.
"I've talked to Tom [Brady], I've talked to probably 99 percent of the team," said Mankins, who will continue to wear his familiar No. 70 as a Buc. "I'll miss a lot of those guys. I had a lot of good friends there."
Mankins, ever the pragmatist, revealed that he wasn't entirely surprised to have been dealt. He may be the only one in that group.
"Once you've been around this business long enough, you know anything is possible," he said. "It's a business first and foremost and if you don't understand that it's a business, you're lying to yourself."
Mankins did confess to the assembled media that the idea that he may be in some decline at age 32 makes sense, noting, "I don't know how many guys play 150 games and are still on the upswing." But he also declared that he's far from washed up.
"I've played in a lot of games, but I still feel I have something to give."
The Bucs, who gave up young tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draft pick to bring the six-time Pro Bowler to Tampa, certainly hope so.
In the meanwhile, Mankins continued to be effusive in his praise for the Pats organization.
"I had a lot of fun there," he said. "It's a place I'll always remember and I have nothing bad to say about New England. I love that place."
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