After seven Pro Bowls and six All-Pro selections, Logan Mankins is calling it quits. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard announced his retirement Monday, per Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com, ending an 11-year career that may conclude with a bust in Canton.
Smith provided a statement from Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht on Mankins' decision:
“It is always difficult losing a player of Logan’s caliber both on the field and in the locker room,” said Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht, who swung the unexpected trade for the former first-team Associated Press All-Pro on August 26, 2014. “He is one of the toughest, most intelligent and skilled players at his position that I have seen in my years around this game. Logan distinguished himself as the ultimate professional over his 11-year career and he was an unquestioned leader for us over the past two seasons. His leadership, work ethic and selflessness played a key role in the development of our younger players and he set the standard which we use to evaluate all of our offensive linemen.”
Mankins, 33, spent the last two seasons in Tampa Bay after a nine-year run with the New England Patriots. While a largely solid addition, he struggled to reach his same individual heights in Tampa Bay. He wasn't voted to the Pro Bowl in 2014 after five straight appearances and was added only as an alternate in 2015. Almost immediately after the regular season ended, Mankins hinted he may have played his last game.
"I don't know. I am at the point in my career where I'm going to take a little time and evaluate what I want to do with my family, with myself and my career and see where it goes," he told Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
Mankins is walking away despite having another year and $6.75 million remaining on his contract. The deal was one of the largest in history signed by a guard, and the Buccaneers seemed more than happy to have him on the books for another year. He has brought a sense of leadership and professionalism to every locker room he's entered and helped set a tone on an otherwise young Tampa team.
"He's just everything you're looking for in a leader," former Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said, per Smith. "I'm talking about a guy that's going to set the right example, say things that need to be said at the perfect time. We haven't voted for captains yet but it's safe to say he's going to be one."
But it's clear at this point Mankins' personal health overrode the millions left sitting on the table. While he's been largely healthy throughout his career—he has played at least 15 games in nine of his 11 seasons—the years of banging bodies takes its toll.
Now, all that's left is waiting a handful of years to see if the Hall of Fame will come calling.
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