By: Ian Logue
To Tom Brady, the Mankins trade was another ugly reminder of the business side of the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)
Most players in the NFL tend to shy away from talking about the fact that the business of the NFL bothers them when it comes to transactions that sometimes directly affect them.
Players come and go, and in the NFL it’s a difficult situation because unlike most leagues most deals aren’t guaranteed and changes can happen anytime. As the dynamics shift from year-to-year, sometimes players who don’t seem like a possibility to see their tenure come to an end are the ones who find themselves in the cross-hairs of a difficult business decision.
“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on.” – Patriots QB Tom Brady (USA TODAY Images)
That was obviously the case last week when Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins was shipped off to Tampa Bay in exchange for tight end Tim Wright, who adds another weapon to compliment Rob Gronkowski in New England’s offense. Given Gronkowski’s recent injury history, the Patriots needed some additional insurance behind him and the move to add Wright looks, at least for now anyway, like one that may potentially pay dividends over the course of the coming season.
On the offensive line, the Patriots were deep and Mankins’ high price tag and cap number ($10.5 million) heading into 2014 put them in a position where they needed to make a difficult move to strengthen one area, while removing a player who was well-liked among his peers.
One player who was a fan of Mankins was quarterback Tom Brady, who finally spoke about the loss of the veteran guard during an appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” this week. Brady said Mankins was a “a good friend” and that he represented exactly what the team stands for.
“I haven’t really spoken to anybody about it, so I have my own personal feelings that are very personal to me,” said Brady via ESPN Boston. “I love Logan. Logan was a great friend of mine. Nobody stood for Patriots football more than him.”
Having had a week to digest what transpired, Brady said that he’s “moved on”, which as a leader is something that he feels the guys around him expect.
“I dealt with whatever feelings I had last week, but I’ve moved on,” said Brady. “I have to move on, because that’s what this team expects me to do.”
There have plenty of guys who have come and gone, which certainly isn’t new given how much the dynamic has changed over the years. Considering he’s been in the league for 15-years, one would think that the veteran signal-caller would be used to it by now. However, Brady said that despite the business aspect of things he still cares about the guys around him and times like this are still difficult.
“Absolutely not,” said Brady when asked about it. “I’m a very person-to-person type of person, a very emotional person. I don’t think those things have ever gotten easier for me. I don’t think they ever will. But you have to come to grips with it also, and learn to deal with things in a mature way.
“We, as players, it’s the business side of things. We’re out there to play, we’re not out there to run businesses. We’re there to enjoy the camaraderie with our teammates, enjoy the playing experience with our teammates, and play for one another. And you deal with whatever comes up and then you move forward.”
That’s what Brady will have to do Sunday down in Miami when he takes the field for the first time without Mankins to kick off the regular season.