Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 27
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport has the latest on Mankins:
Why did #Patriots end up dealing Pro Bowl G Logan Mankins? They asked him to take a pay cut. He refused (as you’d expect). Became available— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2014
With institutional knowledge of Mankins (from #Bucs player personnel dir. Jon Robinson, GM Jason Licht), Bucs knew what they were getting.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2014
Adam Caplan of ESPN reported on Mankins and when we can expect to see him in a Buccaneers uniform:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have acquired six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins from the New England Patriots in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and a draft pick.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports broke the news:
Breaking: the Patriots have agreed to parameters of a trade to send Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Bucs for a pick and TE Tim Wright— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 26, 2014
Michael Giardi of CSNNE.com revealed the draft pick the Patriots received in the deal:
As reported by @AdamSchefter, 4th rounder also comes to the Pats with Wright in return for Mankins. Player is worth more, cap number or not— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 26, 2014
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.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht spoke about the deal via Greg Auman of TampaBay.com:
'We're very excited to acquire a player like Logan,' said general manager Jason Licht, who worked in the Patriots' front office from 2009-11. 'We feel very fortunate. Logan is a very good player. (I'm a) first-hand witness to what he means in the locker room as well. His play on the field speaks for itself.'
'It tells you we feel very good about the three tight ends we have on our roster,' Licht said. 'It speaks about that. We think Tim is a very good football player. Came in, caught 54 balls, that's a pretty remarkable feat. We feel the return we got on the investment obviously worked in our favor. They probably feel they got a pretty good deal, too.'
Although there's plenty of player movement this time of year as teams finalize their 53-man rosters, the trade comes out of the blue. There was no talk about Mankins being on the trade block, and he's signed through the 2016 season.
New England drafted the Fresno State product with the final pick of the first round in 2005. He's been a stalwart member of the offensive line since that point. He's played 130 games over that span, including all 16 last season despite battling various injuries.
Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated believes the Patriots are unloading the guard before his value drops off too dramatically after a slight decline in recent seasons:
What few wanted to admit was Mankins' play had slipped the past few years. This is BB selling high.— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) August 26, 2014
Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network sees the benefit for both teams with Tampa Bay needing line help and New England dealing with the uncertain status of Rob Gronkowski:
Tim Wright was impressive when I attended Bucs practice. He can really stretch the field. Mankins will be a HUGE upgrade for Bucs interior.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) August 26, 2014
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald covers the Patriots beat and was still shocked by the trade:
Mankins has been a captain since 2011. I just fell off my chair and I wasn't sitting in one.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 26, 2014
Spotrac provides the financial details of the swap:
Andy Benoit of The MMQB believes Wright has plenty of upside:
It's unclear what sparked the Patriots to complete such a marquee move at this stage of the offseason. Jon Halapio and Josh Kline are the top contenders to fill the void unless the team shuffles the offensive line deck over the next few weeks.
Wright is an athletic tight end who gives New England a pass-catching option from the position should Gronkowski miss the start of the regular season.
Adam Schefter of ESPN weighed in on what the deal may mean for Gronkowski:
Oft-asked question: NE-TB trade has to mean Pats are worried about Gronk, no? Answer: No. Gronk in good spot. This provides depth, options.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 26, 2014
The Bucs will hope Mankins can return to form and provide them with the stability up front they have lacked during training camp and the preseason.