The Mankins Situation

“Well, right now we’re just focusing on coaching the players that are here, I think we’ll go out and get things done, hopefully have a good practice today, and that’s where our emphasis is: the guys that are here.’’  Those were the ever-predictable words of New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick yesterday in response to a question regarding Logan Mankins’ contract situation.  Did you expect anything else?  Would you like Belichick to come out and say, “Oh man I don’t know what we are going to do without Mankins here, that beard is just so amazing!”  If that came out of Bill’s mouth, then you know that something would seriously be wrong.

I understand Logan’s point of view.  The man has performed since the day he put on a New England Patriots’ uniform.  Ever since being the 32nd overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Mankins has been a model of consistency on the field.  Starting 16 games every season since being drafted, Logan was selected as a Pro Bowl starter twice (2007, 2009).  So, does he deserve to get paid?  Yes.  Should the Patriots pay him?  Absolutely not.

Nobody in the NFL really knows what is in store for the 2011 NFL season.  With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement situation completely unresolved, it is becoming more and more likely that there will be no football in the 2011.  Why would the Patriots dole out presumably top five offensive guard money (Saints’ guard Jahri Evans recently signed a 7-year $56 million deal) when they have no idea if they will play any games next season?  So, for Mankins to vocalize his disappointment isn’t completely outrageous, but he needs to realize that the team is in a very awkward position.  Balancing player happiness (or at least content) with being fiscally responsible is a fine line to toe, and we all know that if the Patriots waver off the line at all, it is certainly always towards the fiscally responsible side.

Also, let us not forget that back in December Vince Wilfork was a very large unhappy man.  He was complaining about the team not being loyal to him, vocalizing his desire to play in Miami, and voicing his complaints about the team’s disrespect towards veteran players.  But, sure enough the Patriots took care of their core players and gave Wilfork a 5-year $40 million contract.  I say this to you Logan: Stop complaining, bitching, moaning, and requesting trades, because as soon as the Patriots know when they will be playing football again after the conclusion of this season, you will get paid and be a Patriot for a long time to come.

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