INDIANAPOLIS — Former New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins is 32 years old and due $7 million in 2015, but it doesn’t sound like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preparing to part ways with the All-Pro.
The Patriots shockingly traded Mankins to the Buccaneers just days before their preseason finale in August. The Patriots acquired a 2015 fourth-round draft pick and tight end Tim Wright for Mankins, who started all 16 games for the Bucs.
“Yeah, we think the world of Logan,” Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s part of the solution, wasn’t part of the problem. Having him for another year, the full offseason which he’s already told me he wants to be there for the whole offseason, and having him in the room — I think it’s going to be extremely valuable to this football team moving forward. Yeah, he has a future with us.”
Head coach Lovie Smith offered similar praise for Mankins, who admittedly had a tough year away from his family.
“He was everything I hoped he would be, and I’m talking about a veteran who played at a high level, leadership,” Smith said. “Logan is a good player. Logan played well for us. We need to get others play up to his level.’’
The Patriots’ offensive line struggled without Mankins to begin the 2014 season before they decided to insert Ryan Wendell as their starting right guard in Week 5. The Patriots went on to win their fourth Super Bowl without Mankins, who was drafted the year after the Patriots won their third Super Bowl.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Logan Mankins (70) smiles on the bench during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium.
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