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Is the relationship between Logan Mankins and the Patriots finally thawing?

07.26.11 at 7:13 pm ET
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Tuesday’€™s news that Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins will sign his franchise tender and report to training camp this week should be taken as positive news ‘€” the first good news in a long time when it comes to the relationship between the franchise and the player.

Mankins and the Patriots have spent much of the last year sniping at each other, but Mankins’€™ agent Frank Bauer talked of a ‘€œfresh start’€ when he discussed the tender ‘€” worth $10.116 million for one season, according to the NFL Network ‘€” with ESPN Boston on Tuesday.

‘€œEarly this morning, Logan spoke with (coach) Bill (Belichick) and both are very happy, happy to get started. Logan is looking forward to being with his teammates and coaches, with a fresh start,’€ Bauer told ESPN Boston.

In a relationship that’€™s been one of the worst between a high-profile player and agent in New England in recent memory, Bauer’€™s words are tantamount to a verbal bouquet. The enmity between the two sides is familiar ground for most Patriots fans: Mankins was set to become a restricted free agent last offseason, which was the result from the NFL going from a salary cap year in 2009 to an upcapped year in 2010. But he made it clear in no uncertain terms that he didn’€™t want to sign the $3.26 million tender, and he held out for the first half of the season because of it. There was talk of lying, an apology and further bitterness, especially after the Patriots cut his tender to $1.54 million, which ended up being prorated over the final nine games of the season once he did return.
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Read More: Bill Belichick, Frank Bauer, Logan Mankins, Patriots camp

Reports: Tarvaris Jackson to sign with Seahawks

07.26.11 at 6:53 pm ET
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According to several reports, Tarvaris Jackson will sign with the Seahawks and compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the starting quarterback job in Seattle. The announcement confirms several rumors from the last few days of the lockout, and comes shortly after the Seahawks decided they would not re-sign veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Jackson will be reunited with former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The 28-year-old has started only 20 games in his five-year career, and spent the last two seasons behind Brett Favre on Minnesota’s depth chart.

Jackson will reportedly arrive in Seattle Tuesday night, and sign his new contract (the details of which have not been released) on Friday.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks, Tarvaris Jackson

Report: Santana Moss re-signs with Redskins

07.26.11 at 6:19 pm ET
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Cross one big-name wide receiver off the open market. Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Santana Moss is staying with the Redskins after signing a three-year deal for $15 million that includes a $5 million signing bonus and $6 million in guaranteed money.

Moss caught a career-high 93 passes last season for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Santana Moss, Washington Redskins,

Panthers reportedly re-sign Charles Johnson for $76 million

07.26.11 at 6:12 pm ET
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Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson was expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents in the wake of the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but Johnson has decided to stay with the Panthers, according to a report on Pro Football Talk. Per the report, Johnson will sign a 6-year, $76 million deal to stay in Carolina, including a $30 million signing bonus.

The 25-year-old Johnson had 11.5 sacks in a breakout 2010 season, more than doubling his previous career total.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Carolina Panthers, Charles Johnson,

Tedy Bruschi on The Big Show: Patriots have needs to address

07.26.11 at 5:54 pm ET
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The Big Show will get a new voice as former Patriots great Tedy Bruschi will join Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley every Monday from 4-6 p.m. during the NFL season as part of WEEI’s “Patriots Monday.” Bruschi will be on hand to interview coach Bill Belichick each week beginning Aug. 15.

Bruschi made an appearance on Tuesday’s Big Show and touched on a number of Patriots-related topics. To hear the full conversation, check out The Big Show audio on demand page. Here are highlights from his Tuesday appearance.

With the reports of the Patriots releasing linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, Bruschi said the team will need to be aggressive in pursuing an outside linebacker in free agency.

“I think they’ve got to be a little active especially with the reports of what’s happening with [Banta-Cain] out there too,” Bruschi said. “Because if you’re out one more outside linebacker, you’ve got to think about that. You’ve got a problem at that position now, I think. Even going into the draft I was talking about them solidifying that position with that 33rd pick about getting a defensive end or outside linebacker that can help them and provide depth and provide pass rush. And that was when [Banta-Cain] was on the roster. So if [Banta-Cain]’s cut, then you’ve really got to look at that position to where you’ve got to address free agency. That’s go to be your top priority.

“I think they’ve got a list of priorities at every position in terms of free agency that they would attack at the wide receiver position, the defensive lineman position, the outside linebacker position and they’re just going to go down their list,” he continued. “Let’s remember now, they’ve had all offseason to allot without players so they’ve been formulating their plan for once the lockout lifts, and you can communicate with free agents. Who would we go for first? What would be our top priority? But I think this is a little bit of a curveball with [Banta-Cain] because I don’t think you would have any contact with him. You don’t know what kind of shape he would be in and you’re talking about a player who was questionable in terms of his work ethic throughout his entire career. Possible weight problems, would he come into camp in shape, would he pass the conditioning test? I think the report of the abdominal surgery might have been sort of a last straw for the organization where they decided to cut ties.”

The Patriots are also at risk of losing long-time offensive lineman Matt Light to free agency, and Bruschi said the 11-year pro would leave big shoes to fill if not re-signed.

“I mean, he’s been that staple on that offensive line for so long but … they say [first-round draft pick Nate Solder], they say he’s the next in line. I met the kid, he’s a big strong kid. I mean, great size, but how is he going to be on the right side, on the left side? We’ll see what type of ability he has. If they don’t have Light I still think they’ll be OK, but it will be a huge, huge hole to fill.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chad Ochocinco, Matt Light, Patriots, Sidney Rice

Report: Seahawks will not re-sign Matt Hasselbeck

07.26.11 at 4:14 pm ET
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According to the Seattle Times, veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will not re-sign with the Seahawks after 10 seasons with the team. Hasselbeck, a Boston College graduate, is an unrestricted free agent and is reportedly interested in signing with the Cardinals, 49ers, Titans or Dolphins.

The 35-year-old quarterback completed 266 passes last season for 3,001 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Hasselbeck threw four touchdowns on January 8 when the Seahawks shocked the defending champion Saints in last year’s playoffs.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks,

Bengals won’t trade Carson Palmer

07.26.11 at 3:38 pm ET
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Bengals owner Mike Brown said that the team had no intention of trading quarterback Carson Palmer, who told the team that he would retire rather than continue to play for the team that drafted him first overall in 2003. Palmer has four years left on his contract, but Brown said the Bengals were ready to move on without him.

“I honestly like Carson Palmer,” Brown said. “He was a splendid player for us. He’s a good person. I wish him well. And he is retired. That is his choice. … I’m not expecting him to be back.”

To that end the team drafted Andy Dalton from TCU in the second round who will get a chance to win the starting job.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer,
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