New England Patriots: Logan Mankins Fighting Fire With Fire in Settlement Case

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IJuly 19, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots breaks up a skirmish between teammate Logan Mankins #70 and Curtis Lofton #50 of the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Logan Mankins is entering his seventh season in the NFL, all of which have been spent with the New England Patriots and none of which have seen him with an opportunity to experience unrestricted free agency.

It's without coincidence then, that he was named one of the plaintiffs in the Brady v. NFL anti-trust lawsuit. The Patriots have successfully kept Mankins down and have yet to dish out big money to keep him around.

Situations like Mankins' are part of what the NFLPA* is trying to fight against.

Reports this morning were that the agents of Mankins and Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson were asking for a $10 million pay off in the settlement or a shot at unrestricted free agency.

Those were edited slightly by ESPN's Adam Schefter later on, who said Mankins hadn't asked for any monetary compensation (yet).

ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss told me via Twitter, "Mankins' interests are being represented by the NFLPA negotiators/lawyers, with I'm sure, input from the agent."

But the question remains: do those demands come straight from Mankins, or are these words imparted upon his mouth by the his agent?

The bottom line is, we don't know what's going on. We don't know what is being asked for, or even whether those requests are coming from Mankins directly, but really, we shouldn't care either.

This is all a normal part of the legal process, and Mankins is simply exercising his rights as one of the plaintiffs in the case.

More to the point, Mankins was smacked repeatedly over the head by the steel chair of the football business over the past few years, and now that he has hold of the chair, he's using it to his advantage.

Who knows what the repercussions will be, if any, for Mankins as a Patriot. One thing is for certain.

The relationship between Mankins and the team has been a rocky road with a lot of bumps along the ride, and at a certain point, one of those sharp edges could threaten to puncture the tire and end the ride altogether.

Mankins may have felt cheated by the Krafts as they beat him with that steel chair, but what the Krafts did, in wrestling terms, was as legal as a headlock under the rules of the previous CBA.

Now that the ball is in his hands, there's nothing selfish about exploring his options and playing a little ball, but that would obviously change if the demands of one player begin to impede the progress of an entire league.