ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Sunday morning that Patriots OLG Logan Mankins will return to the Pats in time to play six games and get an "accrued NFL season."
Mankins has been holding out for a new contract, hoping for earnings similar to Jets C Nick Mangold (seven years, $55 million). Last week, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Mankins and the Patriots were close to a deal, only to see it fall through after he refused to publicly apologize to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Kraft confirmed a public apology was requested, but denied the report that a deal was set.
Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowler, has played in the NFL for five seasons. When he plays six games, he gets credit for a sixth season. That would allow Mankins free agency at the end of the season if the new CBA demands players have six seasons completed first.
The way we see it
The Mankins situation has not been a pretty one for the Patriots as Kraft is still frustrated with Mankins' comments about the Patriots in the summer. We have heard that Mankins is still in the area and a deal was very close to being done, with numbers that Mankins would want to see. Dan Connolly has played well in place of Mankins, but having the Pro Bowler available for the final stretch and potentially the playoffs would be huge for the Patriots-although they would probably want to have him back earlier.