Let the games begin.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Monday that the Patriots have placed the franchise tag on Pro Bowl offensive guard Logan Mankins.


The Patriots have officially placed the franchise tag on guard Logan Mankins. (PHOTO:Icon/SMI)

As Schefter points out, the franchise offensive line number is projected to be $10.1 million, which is what Mankins will earn should he elect to sign the one-year offer.

Mankins, who was a restricted free agent heading into the 2010 season, failed to reach a contract extension with the team prior to the start of last year’s campaign. He initially refused to sign his tender, and ended up sitting out the Patriots’ first seven games of 2010 before finally signing his tender and returning to the line-up. He ultimately had a solid return and made the Pro Bowl, and most fans had hoped that the two sides could potentially reach an agreement.

For now he’s been franchised, which is something he told the Boston Herald before the 2011 Pro Bowl that he would not be pleased with.

“I wouldn’t be happy about (being franchised), if that’s what they chose to do, to be dealt that kind of hand,’’ Mankins told the Herald. “But we’ll see what happens. I would never say the door is totally shut. But the way it’s looking right now, I don’t see them trying to keep me, unless it’s with the franchise tag.”

Hopefully this decision was made in hopes of extending the negotiating period, much like the Patriots did with Vince Wilfork prior to him signing his contract extension. The only problem may be is that according to published reports Mankins was given the non-exclusive tag, which means he’s also free to negotiate with other teams and potentially seek a trade. However the cost to that team is generally two first-round picks, but the two sides would be free to work out different terms.