FOXBORO, Mass. — It was symbolic in a way.
Near the end of the Patriots' Tuesday afternoon practice, offensive linemen Matt Light and Logan Mankins emerged from the locker room and strolled out onto the field to join the rest of the team. They were both wearing gray Patriots T-shirts — Mankins' sleeves were cut off, a wardrobe staple that might rival Bill Belichick's hoodie — because they can't yet practice due to the NFL's post-lockout rules.
Mankins ended a cold war with the organization by peacefully signing his franchise tender last week, and Light recently agreed to a contract extension that The Associated Press reported was worth $12 million over two years.
Belichick wouldn't comment on Light's deal earlier Tuesday because he said it wasn't complete, but Light's presence on the field was the sign of a sure thing. The Patriots' offensive line, which might have been the best in the NFL last season, remains intact. The team also officially announced Light's signing after practice.
"It's great to have those guys back," center Dan Koppen said. "The type of player that Logan and Matt are, what they've done for this team, they're such good guys. Having them in the locker room, good friends, it's really good to see them coming back."