LG Mankins practices after ending long holdout
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 9:52 PM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Logan Mankins waited at his home a few miles from the New England Patriots stadium, missing the game he loves but sticking with his decision to hold out.
Conversations with Tom Brady and other teammates may have helped change his mind.
"When ... you're getting advice from Tom you always know it's good advice because he's really thinking about what he's saying," Mankins said before returning to practice Wednesday after a 4 1/2-month absence.
The two-time Pro Bowl left guard ended his holdout by accepting a $1.54 million tender offer Monday. He had been a restricted free agent once his original five-year contract expired after last season and stayed away when he failed to get an extension.
But instead of returning to his native California, Mankins said he stayed in the Foxborough area since April. He spent time with his teammates, playing golf and eating together. He had plenty of chances to chat with them and found them to be supportive.
Brady, the franchise quarterback he's protected for five seasons, was one of them.
"I think you just always try to express support and you understand what he's going through and the tough decisions that are made," Brady said, "but also maybe a different perspective from a player that's been through it. Like I said, I've been around for a while now, longer than most everybody in this locker room, so I think I just try to share a little bit of insight and maybe it can create some awareness for them."
The Patriots received a two-week roster exemption for Mankins, who said he's been working out. He could be activated this week but he hasn't hit other players so whether he plays Sunday at the Cleveland Browns depends on how he adjusts in practice.
Mankins had to report by Nov. 16 to gain a year of service time and become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
"I'm not going to get into why I came back now," he said. "I'm not looking at it as if I'm early. I'm eight weeks late."
After Mankins didn't sign the original tender offer of $3.25 million by June 14, the day before a three-day minicamp, it was lowered to its current amount. And that will be prorated because he missed seven games.
He declined comment on whether he'd like to stay with the Patriots a long time but, when asked if he got what he wanted from his holdout, he said, "not at the moment."