By: Ian Logue
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday night that Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins is expected to end his current contract holdout, and sign his restricted free agent tender on Tuesday.
Patriots guard Logan Mankins is finally reporting to Foxboro. (PHOTO:Icon/SMI)
The former first round draft pick was unhappy over the negotiations for a contract extension this offseason, and has been absent from Foxboro ever since the team suffered their playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium back in January. Prior to that he hadn’t missed a game or a practice, and had been a mainstay in the locker room.
Mankins needed to return in order to play out the rest of the season and be eligible to hit the free agent market after this year comes to an end, but it’s clearly a solid midseason addition. Mankins is a Pro Bowl calibur guard and should help with their running game, and also in pass protection which at times has been a little shaky.
New England has been fortunate that for the most part Dan Connolly has been terrific in Mankins absence, especially after the team lost Nick Kazcur for the season. Kaczur had been expected to take his place, but it’s given Connolly a great opportunity that he’s certainly proven he can handle.
The big question will be how much he plays initially and what kind of condition he’s in, all of which we’ll likely find out in the coming days when the team returns to work on Wednesday to start preparations for the Browns this weekend out in Cleveland.
We’ll have more on this story tomorrow morning.