New England Patriots' Logan Mankins: Contract Shows Brain vs. Brawn

Gary WolffContributor IIAugust 24, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 25:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls a play at the line against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on November 25, 2007 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Everyone admires a man of principle and integrity, correct? Sure. Those are desirable qualities that show strength of character and help define a man.

However, it is interesting to see how different the traits are applied by different people. It is not surprising, however, as "truth" is a very relative term. People believe what they choose to believe, and they interpret events in such a way as to support what they believe.

In almost all cases, my principled view is that a player should play and honor his contract. In Tom Brady's case however, that is not what seems most wise. He's getting paid approximately $6 million this year, plus or minus $1 million.

So Tom Brady is laying more than $50 million dollars on the line for every snap he takes, regardless of whether it's at practice or in a game situation. If Tom Brady suffers a career threatening injury, he's lost a fortune. Although his family's net worth is probably nine figures, $50 million is still a fortune, even to him.

One can conclude that Tom's principles guide him to honor his current contract, respect the commitment he's made to his teammates, and to respect the unyielding forces of time. Now is everything. All he or any one else ever has is the present. 

His principles guide him to capture the moment and do what he loves to do: play football. He nor anyone else can ever get this chance back. Next year's team will be completely different, he will be a year older, and he realizes that he will lose a year of football in his life, and he's not willing to do that.

In Logan Mankin's case, he's displayed the same love of game and passion for football that Tom has. Perhaps he does not wear it on his sleeve like Tom, but certainly, a guy who never misses a practice or a game, and performs at the level Logan does has that same passion for football.

However, in Logan's case, it appears that his principles are leading him astray. From what little we know in the public domain, it appears this is a simple matter of each side interpreting general statements differently. There doesn't appear to be any right or wrong at the center of the dispute. Given that, digging in your heels based on principle seems misguided and destructive.

Logan states he was told he would 'be taken care of' by the team last year. He showed his loyalty by playing out his contract, and he expected to get a free agent type deal from the Patriots, even though the rules changed and he was no longer actually a free agent. 

He was one of the many players caught in the middle ground that was dramatically effected by the expiration of the CBA. His status went from free agent to restricted free agent, and he lost all his leverage and his chance for the "big pay day."

In a more recent statement by Logan's agent, he implied that "taken care of" meant that Logan would get paid as much as Jahri Evans, guard for the New Orleans Saints. Evans is getting about $8 million per year average, as he signed a seven year deal worth about $56 million.

It is said that the Patriots offered a deal that would average $7 million per year. I've heard different time ranges, from five years to seven years. There is no knowledge of the other details.

That is, we don't know how much was guaranteed, and how much was being paid up front. Those factors can dramatically change the appeal of such a contract.

So even if we give Mankins the benefit of the doubt, and conclude that the Patriots' offer wasn't generous based on those factors, the Mankin's camp must understand that they are negotiating.

They were not supposed to say "yes" or "no" to the offer, they were supposed to counter the offer, and make a case for their conditions of the contract. From what is publicly available, it appears that there was never a counter-off made. It appears that Logan had some preconceived idea of what "taken care of" meant, which differed from that of what the Patriots' brass took that to mean. 

Apparently, in Logan Mankin's principled view, the Patriots did not keep their word and thus they are not worthy. He, being such a straight arrow, of such high character, will no longer stoop to deal with the likes of the Patriots.

It is very unfortunate. The Patriots are a much better team with Logan Mankins, and Logan Mankins should be happy practicing his trade and winning a Lombardi Trophy, which is what I predict for this year.

However, Logan feels let down by the Patriots and thus has taken the extreme stance to quit playing football. That benefits no one, especially him. The ironic part is that Logan is letting himself and the team down.

Yes, he was a victim of the CBA expiring. However, he could have gotten a very substantial and fair pay day, and could continue on as a pro bowl player for the team that drafted him. He could have taken another run at the playoffs, protecting one of the legends of the game.

Somehow though, his principles have directed him into a train wreck of a situation, where he loses big time, and the team and its chances for the big prize are compromised.

Being principled is like having pride. Both are defining traits of accomplished men. However, blindly being steadfast without context can lead to one's demise.

Makin's agent needs to get on the phone and do his job. Hammer out a contract that works for both sides.

It is absurd that he is waiting for a phone call before taking action. He's the agent. He needs to get off his butt and do his job. The team made an offer, and the response never came, except a public rant or two by player and agent. That's not how business gets done in New England. 

A year or two from now, Logan and everyone else won't even remember what the actual stand off was specifically about, but the damage will have been done, and the moment lost. Everyone involved, except perhaps Dan Connolly, will be worse off for it.