Patriots trade Logan Mankins to Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and draft pick


Logan Mankins (right) and Ryan Wendell stretched together at training camp last week. (Elise Amendola / AP)

The New England Patriots agreed to a big trade Tuesday, sending guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a draft pick and tight end Tim Wright.

The deal was first reported by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer; ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots received a fourth-round pick. The move would seem to indicate that the Bucs, who were not deep at the offensive-line positions, have moved away from the possibility of signing Richie Incognito, who visited the team on Monday.

Mankins, 32, was the third-longest tenured member of the Patriots (behind Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady). The team’s 32nd overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, he has been a fixture on a line tasked with protecting Brady, but Coach Bill Belichick clearly made the move in the belief that the time to get value for him had arrived.

Big roster moves just before the beginning of the season are nothing new for the Patriots. In 2003, the team cut safety Lawyer Milloy after two Pro Bowl seasons and in 2009 it traded Richard Seymour, a key member of the defensive line, to Oakland for a first-round pick.

The move also prompted speculation that it was motivated by concerns about the health of Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots reportedly are “optimistic but not certain” that Gronk, who has had a number of injuries over the last couple of years and is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery, will be ready to play in the Sept. 7 opener against the Dolphins in Miami. Michael Hoomanawanui also is recovering from injury.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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