Logically, neither side wants to part ways, but neither is willing to budge. The time frame to tender offers for restricted free agents is officially over, but it seems to be more feasible for a team to deal for Mankins now more than ever.
Under the original situation, the Patriots would have commanded a first- and third-round pick in exchange for Mankins. After lowering the offer, and no deal being met, the only way to move him is to exchange picks or players with another team via a trade for his rights.
The new situation would give the team trading for Mankins the leverage to possibly acquire him for as low as a second round pick in the 2011 draft.
It may also earn them a small discount in signing him to a long-term deal.
While it us unlikely at this point, Mankins would be a perfect fit coming from the New England offense into the Steelers system.
He has never missed a game, starting all 80 games he has played in since his rookie season. His sack ratio is a league best, and he is a notable run blocker up the middle.
The acquisition of Mankins would allow the Steelers to start first round pick Maurkice Pouncey out at is natural position of center rather than starting him out at guard, eliminating the worst statistical center in the NFL in Justin Hartwig.
While Mankins would command top dollar, he is six years younger than Allan Faneca, and is entering the prime of his career. The Steelers would not pay top dollar for Faneca for that reason, but Mankins is worth every penny.
In terms of the pick, Mankins is a proven commodity, a player that any team would spend either a first or second round pick on if given the chance in the draft.
While the Steelers would not be willing to give Mankins the money Evens received in New Orleans, if they are willing to meet Mankins in the mid-sevens (top three money), they could possibly have the core to the offensive line they have been lacking.
LT: Max Starks
RT: Willie Colon
G: Logan Mankins
G: Chris Kemoeatu
C: Maurkice Pouncey
While the chances of the deal being done are low at this point, the Mankins situation is and should be on the radar.
Mankins and Kemoeatu have the ability to play either guard position. By preferably moving Kemoeatu to the right side, the Steelers would be book-ending a high pedigree rookie in Pouncey with two high caliber guards, allowing the Steelers to bring Pouncey along at his natural position while acquiring a leader that can make calls up front.
If the Steelers are looking to make a few moves to sure up their roster before training camp, Fargas and Mankins are the two available players that have the ability to have an impact this season for the Steelers.