Patriots' Mankins: 'I want to be traded'

Updated: June 15, 2010, 3:00 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins said Monday that he would not sign his restricted free agent tender and wants to be traded. He did not show up on Day 1 of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.

"At this point, I'm pretty frustrated, from everything that's happened and the way negotiations have gone," Mankins said in a phone interview. "I want to be traded. I don't need to be here any more."

Mankins said he would not sign his $3.26 million tender, letting a Monday night deadline pass. "There is no way that I'm signing that thing," Mankins said.

When asked about Mankins at minicamp Tuesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick declined to discuss the contract situation.

"Right now, I'm focused on coaching the players that are here, get things done, and hopefully have a good practice today," Belichick said. "That's where our emphasis is, the guys that are here."

With Mankins not signing the tender, the Patriots can now fire back by slicing his salary to $1.54 million. The Patriots sent Mankins a letter indicating their right to make that cut, and now could take this action based on Mankins' hard line.

Mankins would not provide details of negotiations, or what he is seeking financially in a contract. His agent, Frank Bauer, also declined to discuss details, although revealed that the main reason a deal hasn't been reached is that the Patriots' final offer is "20 percent lower than Jahri Evans' deal with the Saints."

Evans, a Pro Bowl guard, signed a seven-year, $56.7 million contract with the Saints in May, a deal with an average annual value of just over $8 million.

The Boston Globe reported that, according to a league source, the Patriots' last offer to Mankins was worth approximately $7 million per season.

Mankins, who enters his sixth NFL season, would have been an unrestricted free agent in a season with a salary cap. But with the league's rules changing to a non-salary cap system this offseason, Mankins reverted to restricted free agent status.

Mankins said his frustration is beyond the change of a salary-cap system. He feels as if the Patriots aren't being true to their word.

"After the 2008 season, me and my agent approached the Patriots about an extension and I was told that Mr. Kraft did not want to do an extension because of the [uncertain collective bargaining agreement]," Mankins said. "I was asked to play '09 out, and that they would address the contract during the uncapped year. I'm a team player, I took them at their word, and I felt I played out an undervalued contract.

"That's the big thing," he continued. "Right now, this is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people. This is what I thought the foundation of the Patriots was built on. Apparently, I was wrong. Growing up, I was taught a man's word is his bond. Obviously this isn't the case with the Patriots."

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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