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Belichick doesn't acknowledge Mankins trade request

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

What, you expected Bill Belichick to talk in detail about Logan Mankins?

Yesterday, restricted free-agent OG Logan Mankins, who currently hasn't signed his tender offer, requested a trade. He made it clear he would not attend OTAs, not sign the offer that he believes is beneath his worth and perhaps would be a training-camp holdout.

Here was Belichick's brief, non-specific retort to the situation: "Well, right now we’re just focusing on coaching the players that are here. I think we’ll go out and get things done, hopefully have a good practice today, and that’s where our emphasis is: the guys that are here."

It's big news. Mankins feels the Patriots have gone against their word, using a possible work stoppage as the reason why a deal hasn't been done to date. He clearly feels wronged by the whole thing, and he has let the Patriots know this.

But has he contacted them directly? Or was his trade demand to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss the first time they had found out about Mankins' wishes?

"I think we already talked about that," Belichick said. "All contract situations are between the player and the club. I’m not going to get into that on anybody."

And there you have it. Business as usual for the Patriots, who along with Belichick rarely comment about these things.

Tom Brady is clearly the team's biggest concern long term. Losing Mankins would hurt, but nowhere on the same level as watching Brady go somewhere else. Clearly, the thinking is that a deal for Brady would happen before one for Mankins, though you also have to wonder if the team is fully expecting some sort of lockout next season and what effect that might have on all their current negotiations.

It's another storyline to follow for this team heading into the NFL's quiet period over the next month.

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