There is something admirable about standing up for what you believe in. Yet, it makes little sense for Mankins to "blow up" and personally attack the owner of the Patriots. In any negotiation, there is an ebb and flow. Back and forth. Proposal and counter-proposal. What if scenarios. It behooves a party to leave room for the other side to graciously climb down. Mankins in his public comments did not hold back. By questioning the integrity of the owner and by asking to be traded, he visibly cut his links with the Patriots. That is his choice. We don't know what happened between the parties. But based on the outburst yesterday, I would say the chances of a compromise are between slim to nil, short of a massive climbdown by Mankins. So, the question is what is NE's strategy for realizing value from a disgruntled player who wants to force his way out? Even trading him requires his cooperation at negotiating and signing a contract. What about precedent? The Branch case suggests that the Pats will wait to realize value -- at least a first round pick. If a satisfactory offer was not forthcoming, the Pats might stand their ground. Any team trading for Mankins will want him signed for a few years, so even if the trade occurs in the third week, Mankins missing a few games will not deter a committed team from getting his services for a long term. That fact makes me suspect the Pats will be firm on a first round choice. Finally, on the field, are the Pats ready with a capable replacement. My sense on this is the Pats have several capable back ups who can be deployed in various combinations -- to see who steps up. Either way, the Mankins era is over.