Mankins reports to Patriots after sitting out 7 games
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 5:27 PM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Two-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins reported Tuesday to the New England Patriots, ending a long holdout from the team that has the NFL's best record without him.
Mankins, who wanted a contract extension, had stayed away since deciding not to sign the team's tender offer by June 14, the day before minicamp began.
"It's good to have him back on the team," said coach Bill Belichick, who met with Mankins on Tuesday morning. "He is a part of the team here now."
The original tender offer of $3.26 million was reduced to $1.54 million when he didn't sign. The team did not announce how much Mankins would be paid for the rest of the season.
Belichick said the Patriots (6-1) expect to receive a roster exemption for Mankins. They visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Mankins, chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, completed his original five-year contract last season and became a restricted free agent. He had said he was told the Patriots would make him the highest-paid guard in the NFL, a promise the team denied making. He also said he wanted to be traded.
"The guys are jumping for joy," Patriots running back coach Ivan Fears said after Mankins showed up. "Having another playmaker like him coming back to play for us? Sure. Plus he's fresh. We're kind of excited about it, no doubt about it. We can't wait to see where he's at out on the practice field."
Players return to practice Wednesday after Tuesday's day off.
Dan Connolly has started at left guard on a line that has allowed just 12 sacks. In his other three seasons with the Patriots, Connolly started four of the 15 games in which he played. He joined the NFL in 2005 with Jacksonville as an undrafted rookie and was signed by the Patriots in 2007, spending the entire season on the practice squad.
His playing time is likely to be reduced, especially after he was replaced by Ryan Wendell in the second half of a 23-20 win at San Diego on Oct. 24.
"We've had a lot of players that have played well for us to this point," player personnel director Nick Caserio said, "but the more good players you have in your program, the more good players you can get on the field."
The Patriots drafted Mankins with the 23rd pick of the first round in 2005 and he started all 80 regular-season games and nine playoff games until this season.