If you haven't heard already, the New England Patriots and Logan Mankins are at an impasse.
Mankins has demanded a trade after being offered a deal that would average $7 million per season, putting him in the top five paid players at his position. Yet he feels as though that isn't enough. He feels as if the Patriots were being dishonest to him.
According to Mankins, he approached the Patriots with his agent after the 2008 season ended hoping for a contract extension.
"I was told that Mr. Kraft did not want to do an extension because of the uncertain CBA, I was asked to play '09 out, and that they would address the contract during the uncapped year. I'm a team player, I took them at their word, and I felt I played out an undervalued contract."
"Right now, this is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people. This is what I thought the foundation of the Patriots was built on. Apparently, I was wrong. Growing up, I was taught a man's word is his bond. Obviously this isn't the case with the Patriots."
Apparently Logan Mankins was wrong. The Patriots did not lie when they said they would address the contract during the uncapped year; in fact they were willing to give him more than enough. It's not Robert Kraft's fault the Saints overpaid Jahri Evans. They offered him a top five deal, so it seems Logan Mankins is the one who has lost "the Patriot way".
So let's get this on with. Should we just send him to the AFC West like the rest of our castoffs? What should we get in return for our Pro-Bowler? I've got some viable options the Patriots should take a serious look at.
The Big Option
The San Diego Chargers have a disgruntled Pro-Bowler themselves; he goes by the name Vincent Jackson. Jackson, who stands 6'5" and weights 230 pounds, has also decided not to sign his RFA tender and says he is ready to sit out until week 10. The Chargers responded the same way the Patriots did—they chopped Vincent Jackson's tender down to just 110% his previous year's salary.
That price cut put Jackson's 2010 salary at $583,000. On top of that the Bolts signed free agent Reed in case a fall out between them and Jackson does take place.
Vincent Jackson's production has increased since he entered the league in 2005. His last two seasons have broken the 1,000 yard mark (2009: 68 receptions for 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns; 2008: 59 receptions for 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns) and has averaged over 17 yards per catch in both seasons.
In the playoff game against the Jets this year where he lined up against Darrelle Revis, Jackson fired off with seven receptions and 111 yards!
Could you imagine our offense with Jackson lined up opposite Moss, with Welker in the Slot and Holt coming in to fill in for the tired, and Gronkowski or Hernandez lined up at TE?
The Small Option
Elvis Dumervil is a big man trapped in a small man's body. That hasn't stopped him from putting out raw production for the Denver Broncos. With one of the big question marks for New England being a rusher from the OLB position, Dumervil could be the medicine this young defense needs.
Even though he stands at just 5'11" and weighs 248 pounds and had switched from playing DE to OLB in a 3-4 defense last year, he led the league with 17 sacks and also had four forced fumbles, 42 tackles, and three passes defended.
The other three years Dumervil spent in the league he has accumulated 26 sacks, six forced fumbles, five passes defended, and 80 tackles.
This man is all about production each and every year. Unlike Vincent Jackson, Elvis Dumervil signed his RFA tender and participated in OTA's during his protest. His attitude is obviously team first, and in a young defensive locker room in need of leaders, he would be welcomed with open arms.
Heck we even already have a good nickname for him: How about "The Flying Elvis?"
Both the Chargers and the Broncos need answers for the guard position on their lines, and both the Chargers and Broncos, I'm sure, wouldn't mind having Mankins around to protect their prized quarterbacks.
The First Option
The most obvious option would to be a trade for a first rounder in next years' draft—maybe even a first and third rounder.
The Patriots currently hold two first rounders and two second rounders, and the addition of another first rounder could springboard their dynasty into the next decade—especially if they could land a trade with a bottom-feeder team and land a top five pick next year.
Thanks for reading my article! Comment and tell me what you think, other trade options? Like? Din't Like? Every response is appreciated!