So where does this stand? At a stalemate, it appears.
The sides have been at an impasse for some time. The Patriots’ last offer, which has has been on the table for “a significant period of time”, was a five-year deal worth approximately $7 million per season and would place the two-time Pro Bowler comfortably among the top five paid guards in the NFL, according to a league source.
That leaves us where we are right now, and I’m told that means that on Tuesday the Patriots will, indeed, follow through on their plan to drop Mankins’ tender from $3.268 million for the 2010 season to $1.54 million.
Saints guard Jahri Evans set the new standard for contracts at the position earlier in the offseason, commanding a seven-year, $56.7 million offer with an average annual value of $8.1 million per year. Evans, like Mankins, was a restricted free agent coming off his second Pro Bowl.
The question now becomes what it would take to break the stalemate. But for now — with Mankins planning to pass on the $3.268 million tender, and the team planning slice about 53 percent off that number — things don’t figure to be getting better.
(UPDATE 7:15 p.m.): I’m now told that Mankins’ tender dropped to $1.54 million as of 4 p.m. today. So the $3.268 million tender is off the table. That doesn’t mean that number can’t be negotiated, just that the one that’s sitting there for Mankins is for $1.54 million now.