The nfl is a business. Both parties continue to use their options under the CBA. THE CURRENT SITUATION The current situation seems to be that we have a problem probowl LG available to join the team that will cost us about $800K for the second half of the season. After this season, we will likely receive a 2012 3rd rounder when Mankins goes elsewhere in 2011. ================ WHAT SHOULD THE PATRIOTS DO NOW, IF ANYTHING? I would think that nothing at all needs to be done before August. The team needs a little time to see Kaczur and Light at LG. Also, they need to evaluate Connolly as a potential replacement for Neal when he is injured. And then there is Orhnberger. Dante has some evaluation to do. After a bit of evaluation, the team will be able to better assess the 2010 value of Mankins. Of course, the team can entertain discussions with other teams, but Mankins isn't under contract, so he would need to agree to any trade. At some point, the team can let Mankins' agent try to find a deal accpetable to the patriots. I wouldn't expect that such an action would be entertained until August.