During his talk with reporters today, as Robert Kraft was discussing how his team had the forethought to lock up core veterans like Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Stephen Gostkowski with an eye toward the lockout and a potential restructuring of the league’s salary cap, he dropped a little bit of news:
“Probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon, hopefully to be a Patriot for life,” Kraft said.
Asked if he was confident the team could get a long-term deal with Mankins done by the league deadline of Sept. 20 (teams have until this date to do negotiate contracts with franchise players; if a contract isn’t reached by that day, the sides can’t negotiate again until after the season), Kraft reiterated that he wants the All-Pro left guard to remain in New England.
“If I have a vote it will get done. But the other side’s got to want it too. But it is our desire and it has always been our desire,” he said. “Like I tried to explain to you, you can’t sign everyone you want so you need to plan and I think we did our planning knowing the kind of environment we were coming into and we tried to position ourselves so we had our core veterans and we could continue to sign the people we want to sign and we very much – we think that Logan is among the best there is at his position and we drafted him and we want him here.”
Last Thursday, Mankins sounded a similarly optimistic tone, and said firmly that there has never been a problem between him and Kraft; since Mankins’ June 2010 comments that he felt he had been lied to by the organization about a contract extension, it had been assumed that he meant Kraft. Last week, he insisted that he was not talking about Kraft when he made that comment.
“All I know is I take any face to face discussions I’ve had, private discussions have all been positive and I hope he’ll be a Patriot long-term,” Kraft said.
The last time Kraft declared a deal with a player to be coming soon was with Vince Wilfork – and news came a little more than a week later that the defensive lineman had signed a new five-year deal.