The left guard will sign his franchise tender, which is worth roughly $10 million, and report to training camp in New England, according to ESPN.
Mankins has been annoyed with his contract situation for two seasons, and he held out for seven games in 2010 before finally signing his restricted free agent tender. In April, Mankins joked that he's heard of free agency but wasn't sure if that concept was merely a rumor — a remark aimed at the Patriots for placing the franchise tag on him prior to the lockout.
There's still no guarantee that Mankins will be on the roster in the regular season, since the Patriots might try to trade him to avoid paying such a high cost for an interior lineman. Belichick hasn't invested heavily into the guard position — other than Mankins, of course — as the other three guards on last year's roster were undrafted players.
But at the very least, Mankins made the first move on the eve of training camp, which begins Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will have until Sept. 20 to reach a long-term agreement with Mankins, or he'll be an unrestricted free agent in 2012, unless they franchise him again.
So, even though Mankins hasn't yet reached his desired long-term deal, he's at the very least going to be a very rich man. By signing his tender on time, Mankins guaranteed that he'll make about $3-4 million more in 2011 than he did through the first six seasons of his career.
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